The City has announced it has located six new sites to create more affordable housing options throughout Toronto as part of the second phase of the Housing Now Initiative.
The new site locations are all within mixed-income, mixed-use, and transit-oriented communities on City-owned lands across Toronto.
According to the City, the Housing Now initiative is a key component of the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan (HousingTO) and contributes towards the City's target of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes over the next 10 years.
HousingTO is a comprehensive blueprint that will assist more than 341,000 households over the next ten years by addressing the need across the housing spectrum – from homelessness to affordable rental and ownership housing.
According to the City, the COVID pandemic has led to a greater number of residents to experience housing challenges, especially while also underscoring the importance of having a home in order to practice physical distancing and self-isolation.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the depth of the connection between affordable housing and public health. People need to have access to a range of housing solutions, from supportive housing to affordable rental units, in order to protect their own health and the health of others," said Councillor Joe Cressy, Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York.
"The Housing Now program's use of City-owned lands will help increase the supply of affordable housing in Toronto, at a time when need is higher than ever."
Through the second phase of its initiative, the City is expected to create between 1,455 to 1,710 new residential units. Of this, approximately 1,060 to 1,240 units will be purpose-built rentals, of which half (530 to 620) will be affordable rental units, which will be available to households earning between $21,000 to $56,000 a year. There will also be 470 to 495 ownership units.
The new recommended site locations are:
The City is now, through its partnerships with over levels of government, looking to expedite the delivery of its HousingTO plan to provide more affordable housing options for residents.
The City says work is well underway to advance Phase One of the Housing Now Initiative which will deliver 10,750 new residential homes. Approximately 7,800 of these homes will be purpose-built rental housing, including 3,900 homes which will be affordable to low and moderate-income households.
"The need to increase the supply of permanent affordable rental housing is more urgent than ever and will make a profound contribution towards Toronto’s socio and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Mayor John Tory.
"Implementation of the Housing Now Initiative and our overarching HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan will require a strong partnership among all orders of government – and I continue to work hard to ensure our plan is fully funded," said Tory.
According to the City, the Housing Now Initiative is guided by the following principles: