Ontario Construction News staff writer
Toronto has released the phase two sites of Housing Now, an initiative to increase affordable rental housing within mixed-income, mixed-use and transit-oriented communities on city-owned lands.
“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.” Additionally, support and participation from the non-profit and private sectors will be essential to help deliver goals.
According to a staff report, HousingTO is a comprehensive blueprint to 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. The COVID-19 pandemic has created in an even greater number of residents experiencing housing challenges.
“Increasing affordable housing opportunities for residents will also make a profound contribution towards our socio-economic recovery from the pandemic,” the report states. “Specifically, investments in residential construction deliver one of the largest economic multiplier effects, with a total of 10 jobs created (including five direct and five additional indirect and induced jobs) for each one million dollars invested in housing.”
The city is hoping to expedite delivery of the HousingTO plan in partnership with other levels of government in order to quickly provide more housing options for residents.
Phase two is expected to create between 1,455 to 1,710 new residential units – 1,060 to 1,240 units will be purpose-built rentals, of which half will be affordable rental units – affordable to households earning between $21,000 to $56,000 a year. There will also be 470 to 495 ownership units. The proposed sites are close to transit as well as commercial and employment areas.
The new recommended site locations are:
- 158 Borough Dr.
- 2444 Eglinton Ave. E.
- 1627 & 1675 Danforth Ave.
- 1631 Queen St. E.
- 405 Sherbourne St.
- 150 Queens Wharf Rd.
Work is well underway to will create 10,750 new residential homes in phase one of the project with approximately 7,800 purpose-built rental housing, including 3,900 homes affordable to low and moderate-income households.
“Increasing housing opportunities for residents will also make an important contribution towards our socio-economic recovery from the pandemic. Specifically, investments in residential construction deliver one of the largest economic multiplier effects, with a total of 10 jobs created (including five direct jobs and five additional indirect and induced jobs) for each one million dollars invested in housing. Expanding programs such as Housing Now will help get people back to work, while creating a range of needed housing,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson.
“We are in the midst of a housing crisis and without adding new affordable rental housing urgently, the situation will only get worse. Increasing access to a wide range of housing options by unlocking the City’s own real estate enables us to build faster the housing we really need. I am pleased to see that a minimum of two-thirds of all residential units created on the Phase Two sites will be purpose-built rental housing with at least half of them designated as affordable rental housing,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.