Ontario Construction News staff writer
Toronto City Council has approved the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan to address a range of housing issues from homelessness and social housing to affordable rental units and long-term care.
Mayor John Tory says the action plan will “put the city on the right path for the new decade.
“It’s the right path to build a city with more affordable housing so people can live here and the right path to build more supportive housing for people who need it the most,” he said. “It’s a comprehensive blueprint that will help more than 341,000 Toronto households.”
HousingTO is an ambitious plan that includes:
- Approving 40,000 new, affordable rental units over the next 10 years – including 18,000 new supportive housing units for vulnerable residents including people currently living in homeless shelters and 10,000 units dedicated to women and girls or female-led households.
- preventing 10,000 evictions for low-income households
- improving housing affordability for 40,000 households
- assisting more than 10,000 seniors remain in their homes or move to long-term care facilities
“The action plan will ensure that we build more supportive housing to end the cycle of homelessness for the people who have access to those units,” Tory said.
Implementing the full 10-year plan will cost an estimated $23.4 billion and calls for new investments from all three levels of government.
The city is committed to funding $8.5 billion, with $5.5 billion already committed through operating, capital investments and other financial tools and calls on the federal and provincial governments to invest a combined $14.9 billion.
There are 76 actions identified in the action plan to address the needs of people across the housing spectrum. Highlights include:
- Adopt a revised “Toronto Housing Charter: Opportunity for All” document
- Enhance measures to prevent evictions and people becoming homeless
- Preserve the rental homes that currently exist
- Adopt a new program definition of affordable rental housing based on income
- Create a multi-sector land bank to support the approval of 40,000 new rental and supportive homes
- Engage the federal and provincial governments to implement the new Canada Housing Benefit and support the creation of supportive and affordable rental homes
“The action plan will ensure that we build more supportive housing to end the cycle of homelessness for the people who have access to those units,” Tory concluded.