Today, Toronto City Council approved the 2023 Housing Action Plan, brought forward by Mayor John Tory, seconded by Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee. The new housing plan for the 2022-2026 term of Council focuses on getting more homes built or made available in Toronto as quickly as possible while also making housing more affordable.
The approved 2023 Housing Action Plan will begin the process of updating the City of Toronto’s planning rules and regulations to meet or exceed the target of building 285,000 homes over the next 10 years. Council has directed the City Manager to report to Executive Committee on the 2023 Housing Action Plan no later than March 2023 with specific details, including timelines, measurable targets, and specific units created as this Plan is actioned.
The ambitious Plan addresses all aspects of the housing spectrum, from student housing to affordable housing to housing targets for the Portlands and Waterfront communities. It aims to modernize the City’s approach to housing by removing exclusionary zoning that has focused growth in just a few areas of the City and prevented housing choice for residents.
The new 2023 Housing Action Plan is taking an aggressive, immediate approach to address the acute housing affordability and homelessness crises facing the City today. Through the Plan, Council has directed staff to amend, review and introduce new and more effective bylaws, enhance and update existing housing system policies and put in place more accountability and transparency in how the City delivers more housing opportunities, including:
Official Plan Policy and Regulatory Components:
Housing System Policy and Program Components:
Public Accountability on Progress towards Overall Goals:
This new 2023 Housing Action Plan advances the comprehensive HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan (HousingTO Plan), which provides a blueprint for action across the full housing spectrum – from emergency shelters to rentals to ownership homes. The HousingTO Plan includes a number of actions and targets to help Toronto residents improve their housing, health and socio-economic outcomes, including the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental and supportive homes, preserving the City’s existing supply of homes and helping renters achieve and maintain housing stability.
Since the start of the HousingTO Plan, the City has approved almost 20,000 new affordable rental homes—this Plan builds on that work so that the City can move quicker. Expanding permissions for multi-tenant houses in all parts of Toronto is a key action that supports the delivery of the HousingTO Plan and affirms the City’s commitment to the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing as outlined in the Toronto Housing Charter.
In addition to the 2023 Housing Action Plan, Council approved a new regulatory framework for Multi-Tenant Houses. This includes amendments to the licensing and zoning bylaws, which will make way for multi-tenant houses to operate legally across Toronto, subject to certain limits. Current zoning bylaws do not allow multi-tenant houses city-wide.
The new regulatory framework will help the City better respond to protect those already living in illegal housing and regulate deeply affordable and safe homes in all parts of the city. It will make it mandatory for all operators of multi-tenant houses across Toronto to obtain an annual licence, as well as introduce consistent standards, regulatory oversight and enforcement to help protect the safety of tenants and respond to neighbourhood concerns. The new zoning and licensing bylaws come into effect on March 31, 2024. Until then, the current restrictions on multi-tenant houses apply. The staff report that outlines the new multi-tenant housing framework, including the phased approach to implementation, is available as part of today’s Council agenda.
For further details on the decisions made at today’s Council meeting, the Council decision is available on the City’s website.
“The 2023 Housing Action Plan takes bold, aggressive action to address the affordability and housing crises facing our city. I will keep looking for new, innovative approaches so there are more affordable options for Torontonians to build their future in our city. This new Housing Action Plan sets aggressive targets to get more housing built with lightning speed. With Council’s support this week, we’ve taken a major step forward to ensuring that every Toronto resident has a place to call home. We are working together to tackle this housing crisis and ensure that our city is a welcoming place for everyone.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Access to safe, secure, affordable and well-maintained housing is fundamental to health and success within sustainable and successful communities. The 2023 Housing Action Plan offers an ambitious vision and framework for actions and measures to be taken immediately. We are committed to working hard to continue maintaining existing affordable homes and create new homes that are affordable as fast as possible.”
– Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)
“We are not going to wait – as a City we are taking immediate action to create more affordable homes in Toronto. The 2023 Housing Action Plan will allow us to bring in more housing and more affordability faster, by thoughtfully removing red tape and speeding up approval times. We need to take bold actions to encourage the future prosperity of our city and make sure that everyone has access to housing.”
– Councillor Brad Bradford (Beaches-East York), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
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