Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Toronto is on track to create 919 new affordable homes through the 2021 call for applications to the Open Door affordable housing program.
A report on results of the application call goes to the planning and housing committee on May 31. Staff are recommending 17 affordable housing projects – a total of 919 affordable rental homes, and approval could happen as early as the June 15 and 16 council meeting. Thirteen of the 17 affordable housing development projects are proposed by non-profit housing organizations, and of these, two are Indigenous-led and three will create new supportive housing.
“There is a clear and urgent need for affordable housing throughout the city. Affordable homes are a foundation for good health and prosperity, and I know they will make a big difference for people who are struggling to find a safe and welcoming space,” said Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão. “We will continue working to improve housing affordability and better support people and families in the greatest need of housing.”
The report also recommends incentives for 25 additional affordable rental homes to be created at 155-65 Elm Ridge Dr. by Reena, a non-profit organization that provides housing with a range of supports for people with disabilities.
Additionally, the report recommends that $3,600,000 in Section 37 funds for Spadina-Fort York be committed to the affordable housing component of the redevelopment of the Palace Arms Hotel at 938-950 King St. W.
The Open Door program accellerates the creation of affordable housing by providing financial incentives and contributions from the City, including capital funding, exemptions from fees and property tax and fast-tracking of planning approvals. The total value of the recommended incentives and capital funding resulting from the 2021 call is more than $75 million.
About 29 per cent of the capital funding will be dedicated to supporting two Indigenous projects, exceeding the commitment to Indigenous Peoples. Terms of the program require the homes to be affordable for a minimum period of 40 years, and in many cases the recommended projects will deliver perpetually-affordable rental homes..
The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan sets targets for the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes and 4,000 new affordable ownership homes by 2030.
“Having access to safe, supportive and affordable homes will help bring a positive change to many lives and enrich our communities. This is one more way we are working to get housing built as quickly as possible,” said Mayor John Tory.