Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Toronto has launched the 2021 call for applications for the Open Door Affordable Rental Housing Program allowing non-profit, co-operative and private sector housing organizations to apply for financial support from the city to create new affordable rental homes.
The Open Door Program provides housing organizations with a range of financial incentives and contributions including capital funding and relief from development charges, planning and building application fees, parkland levies and municipal property taxes.
Applicants can apply to receive both capital funding and incentives, or incentives only. This year, up to 10 million dollars in capital funding is available. The application and full program details are available online.
“The Open Door program is an important opportunity for the City to expedite the development of a range of housing opportunities. We are committed to building more affordable housing at a faster pace and working with the private and non-profit housing sectors to make this happen,” said Mayor John Tory
Key dates in the 2021 process are:
- Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1 p.m. – Online information session
- Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022 – Last day to submit written questions
- Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022, noon – Deadline to submit applications
Types of eligible projects:
- New construction
- Conversion of non-residential buildings to purpose-built rental housing
- Addition of new affordable buildings/ units to existing sites/ buildings
- Social housing redevelopment that involves building new affordable units/additions on social housing sites may also be eligible, provided appropriate consents are obtained under the Housing Services Act, 2011
This year – and for the first time – 20 per cent of the total available capital funding under will be set aside for Indigenous housing projects. The City’s Indigenous housing partner, Miziwe Biik Development Corporation (MBDC), will review and assess Indigenous applications to meet a target of 5,200 new supportive and affordable homes.
In October, City Council approved entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with Miziwe Biik Development Corporation (MBDC) to support the delivery of these homes. Jointly, the City and MBDC will advocate to other orders of government to allocate dedicated capital and operating funding required to achieve this target.
A staff report from the city’s Housing Secretariat will recommend successful applications to the Planning and Housing Committee and City Council as soon as evaluations are complete.
“In order for the city to achieve the goals of the HousingTO Action Plan we must continue to work collaboratively to be successful,” deputy mayor Ana Bailão said in a statement. “Having the Open Door program in place supports private and non-profit affordable housing organizations as they develop affordable rental homes, which is a key part building an inclusive city where everyone can live and thrive.” Bailão is chair of the Planning and Housing Committee.