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City of Toronto Launches Program For Vulnerable and Indigenous Renters

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The Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) program, launched by the City of Toronto in this year’s budget to protect vulnerable renters, is now accepting proposals from non-profits and Indigenous housing providers.

MURA grants $20M to the aforementioned providers for the purposes of protecting existing rental stock, creating permanent affordable housing, supporting rental stability for vulnerable tenants, and renovate as well as operate rental buildings for financially precarious tenants. Additionally, MURA was created to enhance capacity in both the non-profit and Indigenous housing sectors.

According to a news release, eligible properties include rooming houses and small buildings with up to 60 units that are either vacant or tenanted but at risk of being turned into “less affordable housing.” The MURA program will fund up to $200,000 in either acquisition or renovation funding on a per-unit basis, while rooming houses can receive up to $150,000 per room.

READ: Parkdale to Receive 51 Modular Units to Combat Homelessness

The homes that are ultimately funded by MURA are intended to remain affordable for 99 years and are part of the city’s of creating 40,000 affordable rental homes over the next eight years, as outlined in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.

According to the news release, MURA will help the city realize its commitments to truth, reconciliation and justice by apportioning 20% of its funds to purchases by Indigenous housing organizations that will house Indigenous peoples.

In addition to MURA, the city launched the Open Door Program in 2016 to expedite affordable housing construction through a suite of incentives from the City of Toronto, including exemptions from property tax, fees and charges, as well as providing capital funding, fast-tracking approvals, and using surplus public land.

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