Today, Toronto City Council unanimously approved the results of the 2021 Open Door Affordable Rental Housing Call for Applications. A total of 17 affordable rental housing projects, representing approximately 920 affordable rental homes, were approved.
Thirteen of the 17 affordable housing projects approved will be led by non-profit housing organizations. Of these, two will be Indigenous-led and three will create new supportive housing. These projects will provide much-needed affordable rental homes, including some deeply affordable homes.
The City’s Open Door program supports the creation of new affordable rental housing. In the current increasingly challenging development environment created by rising interest rates and construction costs, it is critical that the City continues to support affordable housing developers by providing financial incentives and capital grants. Incentives through the program include exemptions from planning application and building permit fees, property tax waivers and fast-tracking of planning approvals. The total value of the recommended Open Door program incentives and capital funding resulting from the 2021 call is more than $75 million. Approximately 29 per cent of the capital funding will be dedicated to supporting the two Indigenous-led projects, aligned with the City’s commitment to advancing truth, justice and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Terms of the Open Door program require the homes to be affordable for a minimum period of 40 years, and in many cases the recommended projects will deliver perpetually affordable rental homes.
The City will also provide incentives for 25 additional affordable rental homes to be created at 155-65 Elm Ridge Dr. by Reena, a non-profit organization that provides housing with a range of supports for people with disabilities.
Additionally, the City committed $3,600,000 in Section 37 funds for Spadina-Fort York to the affordable housing component of the redevelopment of the Palace Arms Hotel at 938-950 King St. W.
Since the Open Door program was launched in 2016, incentives have been provided to support the creation of more than 21,700 affordable rental homes across the city. The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan sets targets for the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes and 4,000 new affordable ownership homes by 2030. The homes supported through the Open Door program will help lower-income households – including racialized communities, seniors and essential workers who have been disproportionately impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – access safe, secure, affordable housing. These new developments will also help create more inclusive, mixed-income communities in neighbourhoods across the city, as envisioned in the Action Plan. More information about the plan is available on the City’s HousingTO webpage.
More information on creating affordable housing in Toronto is available at on the Affordable Housing Partners webpage.
The full Open Door Program 2021 Call for Applications Results: Supporting 919 Affordable Rental and Supportive Homes staff report, including profiles of recommended development sites, is available on the City’s website.
“We are taking urgent action to address the housing crises in Toronto. Delivering more than 900 rental homes, and our commitment to add to the more than 3,300 homes this program has already delivered, is part of a larger plan to continue to provide safe, affordable housing to people in Toronto who need it most. Everyone deserves to have a stable, comfortable and safe home. That’s why we continue to work hard to increase the supply of affordable homes. The Open Door program is one of the initiatives that helps us effectively address the housing needs of our current and future residents.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Many Toronto residents find it increasingly challenging to find rental units that they can afford. It’s more important than ever to develop more affordable housing as quickly as possible. Today the City made a commitment to create more than 900 affordable rental homes through the Open Door program. This important initiative will ensure that the most vulnerable members of our community will soon have an opportunity to access safe and affordable housing.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Housing and Planning Committee
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