The City is currently reviewing its definitions of Affordable Rental Housing and Affordable Ownership Housing. The review of these definitions will help ensure that rents and ownership prices set by the City are appropriate and affordable for low- and moderate-income households. Changes to the definitions have been proposed for public consultation. The proposed change to Affordable Rental Housing responds to Action 52 in the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.
Toronto’s Official Plan and Municipal Facility Housing By-law currently defines Affordable Rental Housing as:
The proposed Affordable Rental Housing Definition would define Affordable Rental Housing as:
The table below compares affordable rents for 2021 based on the current definition and the proposed definition. The table also highlights the income required to be able to afford the current and proposed rent.
|Unit Type||Current Definition & Income Served||Proposed Minimum Affordable Rent
& Income Served
|Proposed Maximum Affordable Rent
& Income Served
Toronto’s Official Plan currently defines Affordable Ownership Housing as:
The proposed definition would define Affordable Ownership Housing as:
|Unit Type||Prices under Current Definition||Prices under Proposed Definition|
Affordable rental and affordable ownership housing is typically secured within new private, including non-profit, housing developments. These units are meant to provide housing that is more affordable to low and moderate-income households than typical private market housing.
Official Plan policies that use the affordable housing definitions include rental replacement policies, the large site policy, and when securing new affordable housing as a Section 37 community benefit.
It is proposed that the affordable housing definitions would be used to identify maximum rents and prices and eligible income ranges for new units secured through draft Inclusionary Zoning policies.
Housing programs such as Housing Now and Open Door also use the affordable rental housing definition when setting rents. The City often works to layer together affordable housing policies and programs in order to deepen or extend the affordability of units secured through agreements with the City.
Affordable rental housing and affordable ownership housing is distinct from social housing, such as rent-geared-to-income housing offered through Toronto Community Housing. Social housing is typically intended for households who cannot afford affordable rental housing or affordable ownership housing.
City Planning hosted three public meetings on the proposed definitions as part of consultations on inclusionary zoning on October 29, November 5 and November 10. Each meeting included a presentation from City staff and time for questions and answers and comments on the proposed definition.
City Council adopted the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. Action 52 of the Action Plan directs City staff to review options for a revised definition of affordable housing based on 30 per cent of household gross income, consistent with the federal definition of affordable housing.
Proposed Inclusionary Zoning Official Plan Policy Directions were presented to the Planning and Housing Committee.
The Committee directed that the public consultations on the proposed Official Plan inclusionary zoning policy directions include options to implement and administer an income-based alternative to AMR (average market rent), defining affordable rent as spending a maximum of 30 per cent of gross household income on housing costs. The Committee also directed City Planning staff to consult on the proposed Official Plan inclusionary zoning policy directions and affordable ownership housing definition.
Planning and Growth Management Committee deferred consideration of a new Official Plan definition of affordable ownership housing at its April 6, 2016 meeting in order to report back on this matter in conjunction with inclusionary zoning.
In July 2013, City Planning in consultation with the Affordable Housing Office retained consultants to review the City’s Official Plan definition for Affordable Ownership Housing. On June 18, 2015, the consultants final report, along with a report from City Planning, were considered by the Planning and Growth Committee and the proposed Official Plan policy for the revised definition of Affordable Ownership Housing was endorsed as the basis for a public consultation open house.
The Planning and Growth Management Committee requested the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to prepare a report for September 13, 2012 meeting of Planning and Growth Management Committee outlining proposed policy amendments to the Official Plan pertaining to the affordable ownership housing policies