Today, the City of Toronto launched the Taking Action on Tower Renewal (TATR) program, as part of the ongoing efforts to support apartment building owners and operators in making improvements to buildings and revitalizing the surrounding communities. Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park) was joined by Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Heather McDonald, CEO of LOFT Community Services, to announce the launch.
TATR will deliver retrofits at older apartment towers in Toronto and provide opportunities for eligible property owners to complete retrofits that will increase energy efficiency and help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining affordability and improving tenant comfort. The program was made possible through a financing and grant agreement with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) of more than $11.7 million in financing and $1.7 million in grants.
Buildings may be eligible for TATR if:
• The property is a residential rental apartment building of three storeys or more and is built before 1990 and located in Toronto.
• The property is in a low-income area or it is a tax-exempt property (e.g. non-profit homes and co-ops, supportive housing).
• All registered owner(s) of the property consent to participating in the program.
• Property taxes, utility bills and all other payment obligations to the City for the past five years are in good standing.
• A completed Expression of Interest form which, when approved, is followed by a completed funding request form and contractor quotes.
As part of the grant and financing agreement, the City has ensured that tenants will be protected from rent increases or renovictions as a result of the retrofit process. Additionally, participating property owners will be required to make information sessions available for tenants and communicate clearly and frequently over the duration of the retrofit.
Through partnership funding, a Tower Renewal Green Champions resident conservation awareness team at each property will work with residents to encourage energy efficiency, water conservation and waste diversion as well as foster community connections.
The TATR program advances many City priorities including improving rental housing quality and maintaining the affordable rental housing stock. Through TATR, the City is directly enabling the long-term investment required to maintain these apartment buildings and will help implement key actions in the HousingTO Action Plan 2020-2030 and the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Toronto City Council adopted the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan in December 2019, which envisions a city with a diverse range of housing opportunities where families and individuals live in safe, well-maintained and affordable homes with respect and dignity, and where people have equal opportunities to succeed.
As recommended in the City’s Net Zero Existing Buildings Strategy, the program encourages early voluntary action to reduce GHG emissions from buildings. Homes and buildings are the largest source of GHG emissions in Toronto today, generating about 58 per cent of community-wide emissions. Further, TATR supports the goals and objectives of the City’s TransformTO Net Zero climate action strategy, which set Toronto on a path to reduce community-wide GHG emissions to net zero by 2040. The accelerated climate strategy was adopted by Council in December 2021. Toronto’s net zero target is one of the most ambitious in North America.
More information on the program, including full details on eligibility and the application process, is available on the City’s TATR webpage.
“Improving the energy efficiency of the City’s many older apartment buildings will not only improve the lives of tenants, it will also make important contributions to the City’s net zero target. I thank FCM and the federal government for this important investment that will result in emission reductions and help maintain this crucial building stock. I encourage eligible property owners across the City to apply and help revitalize their communities.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee
“With support from the Green Municipal Fund, municipalities of all sizes are implementing smart sustainable solutions. We deliver results with our federal partners by supporting cities like Toronto in their innovative ways to save energy and energy-related costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Together, we are on the path to net-zero and are also contributing to the response to affordability issues.” – Scott Pearce, Acting President, FCM
“As an organization that provides supportive, affordable housing to 1800 people, this new program can help us make a positive difference in how we operate our buildings and help us take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We look forward to exploring this opportunity as I believe it could improve the quality of life for our residents and the health of our entire community.” – Heather McDonald, CEO, LOFT Community Services
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