Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Toronto is looking for partners, sites and properties to support the goal of creating up to 40,000 affordable rental homes, including 18,000 supportive homes over the next 10 years.
Following the announcement that the city will receive $203.3 million through the Government of Canada’s Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI), work is underway to compile a list of properties and sites that could be purchased or rapidly developed to create new permanent housing.
To expand the existing list of properties that would be appropriate for building modular housing and renovation and/or conversion to housing in 2021 and beyond, Toronto invites government, private, institutional, non-profit, co-op, charity and multi-faith organizations and other landlords to identify vacant sites that could be activated for modular housing development; non-residential properties that could be converted to residential; and buildings that are in disrepair and in need of repair and rehabilitation to be used for residential purposes.
Sites should meet the following criteria:
- Modular: vacant, flat, unencumbered sites approximately 25,000 to 30,000 sq. ft. (or 0.57 acre to 0.68 acre) in size, with no material environmental concerns that are located in a Neighbourhoods, Apartment Neighbourhoods or Mixed-Use area (Official Plan Designation).
- Conversion/Renovation: commercial/institutional/non-residential sites that result in new housing stock (including previous housing sites that have been removed from the rental housing stock), 15,000 to 50,000 sq. ft., that can support between 20 to 70 individual units (each 200 to 600 sq. ft.).
- All sites must be in close proximity to existing/planned transit and social services (such as community and employment centres, libraries, health facilities) and be available in the immediate/short term in order to allow for occupancy within 12 months.
City staff will notify those entities whose properties meet the program criteria. Further transaction details will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
More information on the implementation of the RHI funding can be found in the staff report.