Housing     Opportunities     TorontoAn Affordable Housing Action Plan2010 - 2020
Housing        Opportunities        TorontoAdopted by Toronto City Council August 5, 2009.
Table of ContentsIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...
Introduction                                              here is a long history in Canada of governments,     “ Your imme...
However, more than 640,000 people in               reaching a population of 2.8 million byToronto – including students, se...
How is Toronto responding to these                  4) Preserve and repair rental housingchallenges?                      ...
• A commitment to repair and revitalize  Toronto Community Housing and other  non-profit and co-operative housing units.• ...
The Power of Affordable HousingPowering Economic Prosperity                        Powering LiveableAttracts immigrants, k...
Strategic Theme One   Creating Housing Opportunities in all Neighbourhoods                                              he...
The policies set out in the Charter are the foundationfor the direction and actions proposed in this Plan.                ...
Toronto Housing Charter – Opportunity for AllPolicy Statement:It is the policy of the City of Toronto that fair access to ...
Strategic Theme Two   Help Homeless and Vulnerable People Find and Keep Homes                                In 2008, abou...
shows the savings to other services such as hospitalemergency rooms, ambulance and policing offset asignificant portion of...
The City will also work with the Province to establish apermanent program using flexible per diem funding toprovide suppor...
funded supportive housing and mental                    vulnerable people are able to keep theirhealth and addiction suppo...
a. Working in partnership with the Mental                 every three years, with the next to occur   Health Commission of...
Strategic Theme Three   Assist Families and Individuals to Afford Rents    “                                             a...
For those at risk of losing their housing, the City has arange of programs to help prevent eviction and regainhousing stab...
City Actions:20. Keep tenants housed through eviction prevention    and education by:                                     ...
responsive and customer-oriented   waiting list system.Requests to the Federaland Provincial Governments:23.The provincial...
Strategic Theme Four   Preserve and Repair Rental Housing    “                                            ell maintained, ...
co-operative homes require at least an estimated $340million by 2020 to maintain them in a state of goodrepair.           ...
Meanwhile, the federal government continues to reap a                                          growing financial windfall ...
A promising new program is Mayor’s Tower Renewal.Launched in 2008, it will provide upgrades, communityinvestment and green...
sector rental buildings. Like Mayor’s Tower           City Actions:Renewal, the strategy will assist low-and-            2...
prevent the loss of rental housing when          Requests to the Federal   property owners apply for City                 ...
Strategic Theme Five   Revitalize Neighbourhoods                                             oronto’s diverse neighbourhoo...
By 2020, Regent Park will be home to12,500 people living in a mix ofsocial, affordable and market rental       Success Sto...
presents an opportunity to create a mixed            seamlessly into the surrounding City.Theyincome, mixed-use community ...
To further encourage these and other                42. Use planning tools to create affordableopportunities, the City wil...
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
Housing Opportunities Toronto
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Housing Opportunities Toronto

  1. 1. Housing Opportunities TorontoAn Affordable Housing Action Plan2010 - 2020
  2. 2. Housing Opportunities TorontoAdopted by Toronto City Council August 5, 2009.
  3. 3. Table of ContentsIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4The Power of Affordable Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8Creating Housing Opportunitiesin All Neighbourhoods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9Toronto Housing Charter .............................................................................. 11Help Homeless and Vulnerable PeopleFind and Keep Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12Assist Families and Individualsto Afford Rents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17Preserve and Repair Rental Housing ............................................................ 21Revitalize Neighbourhoods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27Create New Affordable Rental Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31Help People to Buy and Stay in Their Homes .............................................. 36Working Together ......................................................................................... 39Targets .......................................................................................................... 42Appendix A: Consolidated Actions .............................................................. 44Appendix B: Preliminary Cost Estimates ..................................................... 53Appendix C: Consultations .......................................................................... 55Appendix D: Toronto Community Housing Revitalization Communities ..................................... 59 1 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  4. 4. Introduction here is a long history in Canada of governments, “ Your immediate problem is not so much T groups and individuals working together to provide affordable housing. Filling that need continues to be an important part of building a the right of the soul to successful country.We know that affordable housingexpand, but the necessity makes a powerful, positive contribution to the economy, for everybody to have a to a better environment, to healthier communities and healthier people. decent dwelling; not tomake all homes mansions, Toronto is a major driver of Canada’s economy, andbut to ensure that none of affordable housing is a key factor in the City’s economic them will be hovels. It is success. It helps to create jobs and to attract and retain skilled key workers and business investment.only a very rare soul that can expand in a hovel. It also contributes to a cleaner and greener city because This objective of decent people can live closer to where they work, resulting in housing simply has to be fewer vehicle trips and the associated pollution.As well, investing in upgraded heating and cooling systems, one achieved in our of the main sources of greenhouse gases, means cleaner democratic society. ”The Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson, air and lower operating costs for residential buildings. Affordable housing is an important factor in creating healthy, diverse and prosperous neighbourhoods.Prime Minister of Canada Neighbourhoods where people with a mix of incomesSpeech to the Ontario Association live in a range of housing tenures and types are safe andof Housing Authorities, 1965 healthy places to live. Strong and diverse communities enhance the quality of life for both owners and renters and improve liveability, which is strongly linked to a city’s prosperity. Affordable housing is also an investment in health promotion and illness prevention, which can reduce health care costs. Having safe and stable housing gives children the opportunity to learn and succeed. Providing people who are homeless with permanent housing and support significantly improves their mental and physical health, and reduces their use of costly emergency services. It is clear that investing in housing results in savings in the health, education, criminal justice and social service systems. 4 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  5. 5. However, more than 640,000 people in reaching a population of 2.8 million byToronto – including students, seniors, young 2020. However, this is only a small part ofcouples, people with disabilities,Aboriginal what will drive housing demand.peoples, low-income workers and theirfamilies, new Canadians and people who are Toronto will be the first stop for anunemployed — need some form of assistance estimated one million immigrants fromto meet their housing needs. every corner of the world. At the same time, thousands ofSome 200,000 tenant Toronto also faces a dynamic Canadians willhouseholds live in migrate here fromhousing they cannot decade during which across Canada.Asafford, spending 30 per population shifts and economic many as 100,000cent or more of their change will challenge the City’s young people willincome on shelter, with enter the Torontolittle left to cover other ability to provide housing housing market forbasic needs such as food, opportunity for all. the first time whichclothing, medicine and will further fuelchildcare. demand for rental housing.At the otherMeanwhile, a troubling trend has end of the spectrum, some 80,000 residentsemerged in Toronto over the past 30 years. will enter their senior years.Rising poverty and a growing gap betweenrich and poor has led to a city more divided These significant shifts in the city’sthan ever before along income and socio- population will be accompanied by theeconomic lines. Many neighbourhoods have movement of residents, particularly families,seen significant amounts of new housing out of Toronto into the surrounding regionbuilt but 95 per cent of that is for the and beyond.ownership market. Considered together, this will place a strongOther neighbourhoods where there is high demand on Toronto’s full range of housingneed and minimal physical and social opportunities in both the ownership andinfrastructure have been identified for rental sectors. While many residents will berevitalization.Affordable housing is a key able to compete in the private market manycomponent of this strategy to create mixed others will need strong public policies andincome neighbourhoods and reverse the programs to meet their housing needs.trend of income polarization. That’s what this 10-year Action Plan is designed to do.Toronto also faces a dynamic decade duringwhich population shifts and economic A snapshot of Toronto at the start of thechange will challenge the City’s ability to next decade shows a city with a set ofprovide housing opportunity for all. challenges ahead in housing its residents, maintaining its aging housing, creating newOver the next decade,Toronto is expected homes and rebuilding entireto grow by a net total of 130,000 people, neighbourhoods. 5 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  6. 6. How is Toronto responding to these 4) Preserve and repair rental housingchallenges? 5) Revitalize neighbourhoodsPublic consultations held throughout 2008,involving more than 1,800 individuals and 6) Create new affordable rental homesorganizations, confirmed the strategic 7) Help people to buy and stay in theirapproach proposed in the Housing homesOpportunities Toronto frameworkdocument released in November, 2007. 8) Working togetherThe direction we received from the public, The Plan is aligned with, andadvocates and experts was clear - the City complementary to, other key Citymust be bold, be innovative, and above all initiatives, including the Official Plan,Transitelse, be a leader. City, and the Change is in the Air climate change strategy. It buildsIn response, the Housing on and supports severalOpportunities Toronto We begin with a goal – other long-term goals,Action Plan 2010-2020 sets the goal of providing such as thetargets that are responsive housing opportunities revitalization plans ofto the needs of Toronto CommunityTorontonians. It calls for for all – in a city that has, Housing Corporation as$484 million in annual for more than 175 years, well as Waterfrontinvestments over the next10 years to assist 257,700 strived to welcome and Toronto, Mayor’s Tower Renewal and Making ahouseholds struggling with house residents in all Safe City Safer.The Planhigh housing costs or their diversity. supports the Prosperityinadequate accommodation. Agenda’s goal toFundamentally, HOT is a roadmap to steer position Toronto as a leading 21st centurythe work and investment decisions of the global city by encouraging businessCity of Toronto in partnership with federal investment, stimulating the economy,and provincial governments, as well as the attracting key workers and creatingpublic and private housing sectors over the opportunity and liveability for all residents.next decade. It also supports the Province’s povertyTo this end, HOT proposes 67 actions reduction strategy and will provide input towithin the following eight strategic themes: the long-term provincial housing strategy. 1) Create housing opportunities in all The HOT Action Plan 2010-2020 includes: neighbourhoods • A Toronto Housing Charter which states 2) Help homeless and vulnerable people that all residents should be able to live in find and keep homes their neighbourhood of choice without discrimination. 3) Assist individuals and families to afford rents • A Housing First plan to end homelessness. 6 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  7. 7. • A commitment to repair and revitalize Toronto Community Housing and other non-profit and co-operative housing units.• Creation of 1,000 new affordable rental homes annually.• Innovative regulatory changes that will extend financial incentives to encourage more affordable rental homes mixed within market housing developments, as well as to increase homeownership opportunities.We begin with a goal – the goal of providinghousing opportunities for all – in a city thathas, for more than 175 years, strived towelcome and house residents in all theirdiversity. With our partners we intend tohonour and build on that tradition for thenext 10 years and beyond because “decenthousing simply has to be achieved in ourdemocratic society.” 7 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  8. 8. The Power of Affordable HousingPowering Economic Prosperity Powering LiveableAttracts immigrants, key workers and a Neighbourhoodsskilled labour force Makes streets safer and encourages business and other investments in neighbourhoodsEncourages businesses to locate andexpand locally Diverse neighbourhoods provide opportunity and affordability in all 44 wardsEvery 1,000 units of affordable housing across the Citybuilt creates between 2,000 and 2,500person years of employment Reducing concentration of poverty, improves health, safety and quality of life forCosts less on average ($23 per day) than residentsuse of emergency shelters ($69), jails ($142)and hospitals ($665) when people are Powering Healthy Peoplehomeless Decreases exposure to harmful conditionsPowering a Greener City such as mould, toxins or poor air quality found in inadequate housingAllows people to live closer to where theywork, reducing vehicle-related greenhouse Increased stability and security results ingas emissions better mental and physical health.Upgrades to energy efficiency Improves educational outcomesmeasures reduce the greenhouse and opportunities for children.gases emitted by the heating andcooling of residential buildings ECONOMIC PROSPERITY HEALTHY AFFORDABLE ENVIRONMENTAL PEOPLE HOUSING SUSTAINABILITY LIVEABLE NEIGHBOURHOODS 8 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  9. 9. Strategic Theme One Creating Housing Opportunities in all Neighbourhoods he City of Toronto’s Coat of Arms boasts the“ When a culture ensures that all of its citizens T motto:“Diversity Our Strength.”Those are important words for a city that strives to provide a high quality of life for all of its residents. have a home, the quality But it is one thing to speak proudly of diversity on the of life in that society Coat of Arms and quite another to take action to ensure improves. ”Karen Bach, Yonge Street MissionAffordable Housing Committeedeputation people are made welcome.That is why this Plan proposes the adoption by City Council of a first for Canada – an affordable housing charter. The Toronto Housing Charter – Opportunity for All brings together existing Council policy and sets out Toronto’s aims and purposes in addressing homelessness and housing issues. It contains a formal policy statement to guide both Council decisions and staff actions in the provision of housing services to all Torontonians. It specifically states that “All residents should have a safe, secure, affordable and well- maintained home from which to realize their full potential.” This is consistent with the City’s Official Plan which recognizes adequate and affordable housing as a basic requirement for everyone. But the Charter goes beyond that and states that “All residents should be able to live in their neighbourhood of choice without discrimination.” In other words, the City believes, as stated in the Official Plan, that a full range of housing options should be available across Toronto, in every ward and every neighbourhood – from accessible apartments for seniors, to large homes for multi-generational families, to opportunities for individuals whose needs are best served by sharing their homes. As the Charter notes: “All residents have the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination as provided by the Ontario Human Rights Code…” The City will work to support this right by promoting the benefits of affordable housing across Toronto. 9 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  10. 10. The policies set out in the Charter are the foundationfor the direction and actions proposed in this Plan. What we heard:So, how does the City act to put the Charter intoaction? Part of the answer is a Councillor’s guide tohousing opportunities. Good Homes-Good Neighboursis a toolbox filled with advice and resources to meet thehousing needs of ward residents. “ We need our political leaders to underscore that all people have the right to secure housing andIt offers guidelines for Councillors wishing to take that attempts to exclude peopleaction to meet different housing needs in their because they are homeless or havecommunities.Whether it’s setting the tone for public mental health issues aremeetings or helping a homeless person get off the street discrimination and a violation ofor working with city planning staff to negotiate with fundamental human rights.developers for affordable housing benefits, GoodHomes-Good Neighbours supports a Councillor’s workat the local level. Peter Lye, DreamTeam June 16th Affordable Housing Committee deputation ”Another means of making the Charter relevant to thedaily life of Toronto residents is to raise awareness of itsprinciples.To that end, the City will conduct a publiceducation initiative highlighting the Charter’s message.City Actions “ All people have the right to live in communities of their choice, without discrimination.1. Approve the Toronto Housing Charter that affirms the opportunity for all residents to have a safe, secure, affordable and well-maintained home from Paul Dowling, HomeComing June 16th Affordable Housing Committee deputation ” which to realize their full potential, without discrimination.2. Support Councillors to take a leadership role addressing affordable housing issues in their wards by providing Good Homes-Good Neighbours, a Councillor’s guide to affordable housing.3. Work with partners to undertake public education initiatives highlighting the Toronto Housing Charter.4. Examine bringing forward a bylaw that strengthens the City’s response to housing discrimination. 10 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  11. 11. Toronto Housing Charter – Opportunity for AllPolicy Statement:It is the policy of the City of Toronto that fair access to a full range of housing isfundamental to strengthening Toronto’s economy, its environmental efforts, and the healthand social well-being of its residents and communities.In that regard:All residents should have a safe, secure, affordable and well-maintained home from which torealize their full potential.All residents should be able to live in their neighbourhood of choice withoutdiscrimination.All residents, regardless of whether they rent or own a home, or are homeless, have anequal stake and voice in Toronto’s future.All residents have the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination asprovided by the Ontario Human Rights Code, and to be protected from discriminatorypractices which limit their housing opportunities.All housing in Toronto should be maintained and operated in a good and safe state of repair.Implementation:The Toronto Housing Charter – Opportunity for All is designed to guide City Counciland the City’s public service in the provision of services and programs to residents.The City of Toronto will consult and work with the Ontario Human Rights Commission tosupport the housing rights of residents and to advance the policies contained in theToronto Housing Charter.The City of Toronto will from time to time review the Toronto Housing Charter to reflectany amendments to complementary policies including Toronto’s Official Plan, the HumanRights and Anti-Harassment Policy, and the Vision Statement on Access, Equity and Diversity. 11 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  12. 12. Strategic Theme Two Help Homeless and Vulnerable People Find and Keep Homes In 2008, about 25,000 people experienced “ We look to the City to continue programs like Streets to Homes, which homelessness and needed to rely on an emergency shelter for at least one night.While there are many successful programs and services in place to assist people who are homeless, there is more work to be reach out to people who done to ensure that all Torontonians have access to the security, dignity and stability of a home.are homeless and providesupports to get people off The best way to end homelessness is to provide people the street and into with permanent housing. Once people have access to permanent housing. the security, dignity and stability of housing, they canThe Dream Team ” then begin to address other challenges — such as lack of employment skills and mental health or addiction issues. Research and experience have shown that formerly homeless individuals, even those with complex mental health and addiction issues, can successfully maintain housing with the appropriate supports.This is the basis of the Housing First approach which is the foundation for all services and programs to address homelessness and housing in the City of Toronto. The success of the Streets to Homes program in providing intensive case management supports to assist people to move into housing directly from the street, with more than 90 per cent remaining housed, proves that the Housing First approach works. Housing workers in shelters also assist people to move into housing directly from shelters. Once people are in housing with appropriate supports their quality of life improves dramatically, and they experience improved health, a sense of security, better nutrition, less alcohol and drug use, and a more positive outlook for the future. Providing housing is not only the right thing to do because it improves people’s quality of life, it is also a cost-effective solution to homelessness. Once people are in housing, they tend to use fewer expensive emergency services and begin accessing more appropriate health and community services to meet their needs. Research 12 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  13. 13. shows the savings to other services such as hospitalemergency rooms, ambulance and policing offset asignificant portion of the costs of providing housing and What we heard:supports through Streets to Homes.While providing housing is important, ensuring peoplealso have the supports they need to remain in their “ Youth said that good, stable, affordable housing made it easier tohomes is critical. Some vulnerable tenants need go to school and have a quiet placeadditional supports in order to maintain their housing. to study, build a healthy lifestyle,In particular, more housing supports are needed in search for and maintainsocial housing communities.Along with the employment, plan for the future,revitalization of physical infrastructure, these supportsare critical to ensuring that residents are able to feel good about the present and bemaintain housing stability and to developing healthy optimistic about the future.and successful communities. Other services, such asHousing Help Centres and Drop-in Centres, also helppeople find and keep their homes. Marion Audy Catholic Children’s Aid Society ”In addition to those who are homeless, many othervulnerable groups require assistance to find suitablehousing. People with mental health issues or physicaldisabilities, people with environmental sensitivities, “ For some older adults appropriate supports prevent them from cycling back to the streets orAboriginal people, immigrants and refugees, victims ofviolence, low-income families with children, youth from moving to institutionalleaving child welfare care, and seniors all have distinct settings such as nursing homes andneeds for housing and supports. hospitals.The Streets to Homes program has recently beenenhanced to provide service to all street-involved people, ” Institute for Life Course and Agingincluding those who panhandle.There are now morethan three times as many outreach workers on the streetin the downtown core to assist people to find housing. “ It is essential that programmatic supports areHousing outreach staff work with clients one-on-one to integrated with housingfind them housing directly from the street and to sustainability. Whether we areaddress other needs that will help reduce panhandling. considering the homeless andThe program will continue to implement theseenhanced services and work with community agencies, vulnerable or inclusive,drop-in centres, business associations and police to sustainable neighbourhoods,ensure a coordinated approach to ending street bricks and mortar are nothomelessness. Implementation and outcomes will be enough.assessed and program improvements and adjustmentsmade as required. Major Dennis Brown Salvation Army ” 13 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  14. 14. The City will also work with the Province to establish apermanent program using flexible per diem funding toprovide supports to assist more people to move from Success Story:shelters into permanent housing.This would be an Hostels to Homes Pilotexpansion of a program similar to the successful Hostelsto Homes pilot. This pilot program provides flexibility in the use ofIn addition, the City will work with the Province to shelter per diem funding toadapt the existing funding model for shelters to support assist frequent shelter usersa Housing First approach.The current model provides to find and move intofunding based on occupancy, rather than on actual permanent housing.operating and support costs to provide services to Housing support workershomeless people. By modifying the funding model to provide follow-up supportscreate greater flexibility and individualized supports to for an 18 month period.help shelter users find and keep permanent housing, theshelter system will be returned to its original role of These supports help clientsproviding temporary emergency assistance. to search for a place to live, develop life and social skills,Another step to achieve this goal will be redeveloping connect to services in theirselected shelter sites to include a mix of affordable and neighbourhood and alsosupportive housing, and to enhance shelter services provide housingwith more appropriate facilities and programs that stabilization and crisisbetter meet client needs. support.Redevelopment will revitalize the surrounding In the initial pilot, 310neighbourhoods and create mixed-use housing individuals were assisted todevelopments that may include private market housing, find housing, and in thesocial housing, innovative long-term care, health care and second phase 30 familysupportive housing models and emergency shelter beds. households were housed through the program.Other forms of innovative affordable housing thatprovide the support people need to leave homelessness The pilot program has beenare also required.This includes interim housing that a highly successful exampleprovides immediate access to housing for an individual of a provincially fundedwhile their permanent housing plan is being developed. program which providesRedevelopment of residential apartment buildings and municipalities the flexibilitysingle room occupancy hotels can be one way to create to develop innovativenew interim or supportive housing. strategies appropriate to local circumstances in orderWhile the Province has provided funding to create some to assist frequent shelternew supportive housing in recent years, many people users to end theirwith complex, ongoing mental health and addiction homelessness.issues are still not able to get the long-term supportsthey need to remain in housing. More provincially- 14 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  15. 15. funded supportive housing and mental vulnerable people are able to keep theirhealth and addiction supports are needed homes by:to assist these most vulnerable individuals. a. Allocating funding to community programs and services which helpSeniors, in particular, are a rapidly growing people find and keep homes.demographic group with specific housingneeds.These needs must be addressed b. Advocating to the provincial and federalthrough the development of innovative governments to provide increasednew models of housing and supports which funding to enhance housing supportsallow seniors to receive the care needed to available to vulnerable tenants in privateremain in their homes. Some seniors, such market and social housing communities.as those who have experienced 7. Expand alternative, supportive andhomelessness or have drug and alcohol interim housing for formerly homelessaddictions, require specialized supports to and vulnerable people by:meet their unique needs. a. Developing new interim housing unitsCity Actions: for people housed from shelters and5. Expand Toronto’s Housing First clients of the Streets to Homes program approach to help people living on the b. Replenishing the Mayor’s Homelessness street or in shelters find permanent Initiative Fund to support development affordable housing by: of supportive and interim housing. a. Continuing to work toward Council’s 8. Support the acquisition and renovation goal of ending street homelessness of residential apartment and similar through the implementation of the buildings such as single room enhanced Streets to Homes program. occupancy (SRO) hotels to provide b. Working with the Province to establish sustainable, affordable rental homes by: a permanent program using flexible a. Providing funding for the shelter per diem funding to provide redevelopment of SRO hotels as interim shelter clients with housing supports in and supportive housing for people the community, similar to the Hostels to leaving shelters and Streets to Homes Homes pilot. program clients. c. Working with the Province to b. Encouraging acquisition/renovation of implement a new funding model for privately-owned apartment buildings, shelters that supports a Housing First legal rooming houses and SRO hotels as approach. an eligible option under future d. Redeveloping selected emergency programs for affordable housing shelter sites into a combination of development. innovative long-term care, health care, supportive and affordable housing and 9. Address future supportive/alternative emergency shelter programs. housing needs for vulnerable and formerly homeless people with mental6. Co-ordinate and provide supports and health and daily living challenges by: housing to ensure homeless and 15 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  16. 16. a. Working in partnership with the Mental every three years, with the next to occur Health Commission of Canada and in 2012. housing providers to implement and b. Analyzing available data to identify changes develop further evidence for successful and evidence for future service needs. housing program models for individuals with mental health issues. Requests to the Federalb. Identifying effective practices and gaps and Provincial Governments: in existing supportive/alternative 13. The provincial government use a housing for clients with complex needs. Housing First approach to deliverc. Working with the provincial funding and services to vulnerable and government to ensure that mental homeless people, including reinvesting health supportive housing options are savings achieved by this approach from integrated into the housing and other areas, such as health, immigration, homelessness service system. corrections and emergency services. 14. The provincial government implement a10. Address the housing issues facing new funding model for shelters which Aboriginal people who are homeless by: supports a Housing First approach and a. Allocating funds to support the provide flexibility in the use of shelter development of Aboriginal-specific funding to establish a permanent housing options. program to provide shelter clients with b. Developing partnerships with and housing supports in the community, supporting the delivery of housing support similar to the Hostels to Homes pilot. services by Aboriginal-specific agencies. 15. The provincial government increase funding for mental health supportive11. Develop strategies to help seniors live housing and housing with supports independently in existing social and options and that these be integrated into rental housing by: the existing housing and homelessness a. Creating new models of housing and service system. supports and long-term care for 16. The provincial government increase vulnerable and formerly homeless funding for housing supports, Housing seniors with complex needs. Help Centres and Drop-in Centres. b. Assisting seniors in social and rental 17. The provincial government increase housing to live independently. funding for supportive housing options c. Redeveloping long-term care facilities into for vulnerable seniors. Campuses of Care that promote healthy 18. The federal government, at a minimum, aging in place with a range of housing, double and make permanent funding to health and social service options in a address homelessness. single location. 19. The federal government increase12. Use the Street Needs Assessment and funding and revise criteria for programs other research to help guide future that help landlords repair and adapt affordable housing strategies by: rental housing for seniors and other a. Conducting a Street Needs Assessment vulnerable people. 16 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  17. 17. Strategic Theme Three Assist Families and Individuals to Afford Rents “ ar too many people in the City of Toronto struggle Housing concerns should be linked to income security. Social F to pay their rent each month. More than 200,000 tenant households, or 47 per cent of renters, have affordability problems and pay more than 30 per cent of their income on rent. For half of these households who assistance benefits and pay more than 50 per cent of their income on rent,minimum pay are too low affordability is an even more serious issue.and should be increased substantially. For many of these families, the high cost of housingParticipant, ”Margaret Frazer House consultation means choosing between paying the rent and putting food on the table. Families who have little disposable income available after paying their rent are also less able to help their children participate in extra-curricular and recreational activities that provide important developmental and social opportunities. Some people are able to live in rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units provided through social housing and rent supplements in private market buildings. Low-income tenants in these units pay 30 per cent of their income toward rent with the balance covered by a subsidy. Regardless of changes in income, their housing will remain affordable.When incomes go up, rents go up as well. The City has administered the centralized social housing waiting list since 2002 under the authority and regulation of the Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA),. The SHRA sets out provincially mandated rules for operating the centralized waiting list and establishes areas of local policy discretion. However, there is a huge unmet need for more subsidized housing and the waiting list is far too long. Waiting times range from 2 – 12 years depending on the unit size and location. For vulnerable individuals and families struggling to pay the rent and who may be at risk of losing their home in the near future, being told they must wait years for an affordable home is difficult and frustrating. 17 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  18. 18. For those at risk of losing their housing, the City has arange of programs to help prevent eviction and regainhousing stability.The Rent Bank provides interest-free What we heard:loans to households at risk of being evicted due toarrears.Workers at seven Housing Help Centres assistpeople to find affordable housing and provide educationon tenant rights, landlord mediation and otherassistance to try to prevent evictions. “ Make affordable housing accessible by creating standard, citywide procedures that applicants can easily navigate.There is also a range of services available to assisthomeless and recently-housed individuals to participatein skills training, volunteer work or employment.Engaging in some form of employment or other Artist Affordable Housing Stakeholder Consultation ”meaningful activity supports reintegration into homeand community for homeless and under-housed people,as well as providing the opportunity to earn income forlong-term self-sufficiency.However, while these programs are important, the key “ The Province should provide long term funding for rentto meeting the housing needs of the many thousands of supplement and housing allowancehouseholds with serious affordability problems is programs, including thoseproviding more provincially-funded rent supplements, programs already operating andhousing allowances and other shelter benefits. any new programs.Although the underlying problem is a shortage ofsubsidized RGI homes for low-income residents who ” Mayor’s Roundtable on Seniorscannot afford market rents, there is also more that canbe done to determine how service to clients could beimproved and whether the current waiting list system ismeeting the City’s intended objective of providingaccess to housing. “ A homeless mom will worry about housing, feeding, clothing and schooling her children. HerA comprehensive review of the waiting list will evaluateits effectiveness in meeting the needs of social housing own needs for education, trainingapplicants, housing providers and the broader and employment are alwayscommunity.The review will identify successes as well as last.gaps, limitations and barriers in the access system inToronto and elsewhere.The impact of City rules,policies and procedures will be evaluated and ” Aboriginal Stakeholder GTA Aboriginal housing consultationsalternatives identified.The review will also evaluate andmake recommendations for changes to the SHRA toenable Toronto to administer the waiting list to bestmeet local needs. 18 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  19. 19. City Actions:20. Keep tenants housed through eviction prevention and education by: Success Story: Toronto Enterprise a. Funding Housing Help Centres to provide housing Fund assistance to at-risk households. b. Administering the provincially-funded Rent Bank The Toronto Enterprise program which helps at-risk households avoid Fund (TEF) is an eviction through short-term, interest free loans. organization which c. Providing funding to drop-in centres to provide food facilitates the and other practical supports that promote housing development of social stability. purpose enterprises. A social purpose enterprise21. Support the development of skills training is a business that is run by opportunities, employment creation initiatives and a non-profit organization community economic development for social which balances both housing tenants, shelter users, street involved and revenue generation and a recently housed homeless people by: social objective - the a. Expanding specialized employability assessment and “double-bottom line”. counselling supports. By being provided with b. Facilitating access to skills training, work preparation employment opportunities, options and educational opportunities with people who are homeless specialized accommodations and supports. or at risk of homelessness c. Working with the business community, non-profit gain valuable skills and organizations and government to develop work experience, transitional work programs and to broker improved self-esteem, employment opportunities with appropriate and connections to their supports for individuals who require a staged re- community. As well, by entry to the workforce. helping people generate d. Continuing to support the development of social additional income and purpose enterprises that provide supported work reduce their poverty, the placement and employment opportunities. TEF helps to prevent and reduce homelessness.22.Transform the social housing waiting list into a proactive social housing access system by: In partnership with the a. Leading a comprehensive review to explore how to United Way, the City of improve service to clients, more effectively match Toronto provides funding applicants with units, and provide fair and efficient to the TEF through the access to housing for the most vulnerable. federal Homelessness Partnership Initiative. b. Implementing identified recommendations and advocating for the changes to provincial legislation that are required in order to create an effective, 19 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  20. 20. responsive and customer-oriented waiting list system.Requests to the Federaland Provincial Governments:23.The provincial government assist low- income residents through sustainable increased funding for rent supplements, housing allowances, and/or other shelter benefits.24.The provincial and federal governments continue to fund housing allowance and rent supplement programs, in particular those which are set to expire.25.The federal and provincial governments provide municipalities greater authority under a more flexible legislative framework to make local decisions about social housing.26.The provincial government annually increase and adjust social assistance rates to reflect current living standards and to include a shelter component maximum equal to 100 per cent of the median market rent for each local housing market, based on annual statistics collected by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.27.The provincial and federal governments increase access to Employment Insurance, child benefit programs and other benefits for the working poor. 20 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  21. 21. Strategic Theme Four Preserve and Repair Rental Housing “ ell maintained, safe and affordable rental We recognize the problem can’t be solved overnight. Nevertheless, W homes make a powerful, positive contribution to the lives of more than one million Toronto renters. the enormity of the In addition to encouraging the development of new problem should not affordable rental housing, the challenge is to ensure thatprevent action from being existing rental housing remains affordable and well taken today. There is a maintained.great need for new social Over the next decade, the housing needs of many low- housing to be built, but to-moderate-income residents will be met primarily we can’t forget what through Toronto’s existing 440,000 rental homes. As a already exists.” result, preserving and repairing this valuable asset is aWallace Simpson,Save Our Structures ” critical component of this 10-year Plan. Like other buildings in Toronto, our private and social housing rental stock is aging. By 2020, some 60 per cent of rental apartments will be at least 50 years old. In some parts of Toronto, low-rise rental housing is much older. Many of these buildings require costly repairs for basic components such as boilers, roofs, plumbing and electrical systems. They are also among the least energy efficient buildings in the city, are a significant source of greenhouse gases and can impose an “energy burden” on low-income households. Preserving and fixing rental housing starts with the City continuing to repair the social, non-profit and co- operative housing it directly administers.This means maintaining and investing in an asset of more than 90,000 rental homes worth some $16 billion. Likewise, the federal and provincial governments must re-invest in the thousands of co-operative and supportive rental homes they directly administer in Toronto. Toronto Community Housing faces a $352 million shortfall for the repair of its rental homes over the next 10 years. In addition, the City’s 28,000 non-profit and 21 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  22. 22. co-operative homes require at least an estimated $340million by 2020 to maintain them in a state of goodrepair. What we heard:It has long been recognized that the provincial transferof social housing to Toronto and other Ontariomunicipalities in the early 1990s did not fully considerthe medium and long-term implications.This is perhaps “ We know that there is a stigma attached to the term roomingmost apparent in the lack of funding for the normal houses. We also know that withrepairs and maintenance that every home needs. supports, rooming houses can provide stable housing.Similarly, the transfer arrangement severely constrainsnon-profit and co-operative housing operators fromaccessing financing to pay for repairs and renovations. Phil Nazar Rooming House Working Group ”Complex administrative rules and an inflexibleprovincial legislative framework prevent the City frommaking locally appropriate decisions and takingadvantage of opportunities associated with theredevelopment and regeneration of neighbourhoods. “ There are billions of dollars tied up in social housing and regulations make it impossible toMany social housing providers also struggle to attractand keep qualified volunteer board members and staff. use any of this equity to developAdministrators of social housing projects are often more affordable housing.expected to be knowledgeable in many areas includingbuilding maintenance, finance, labour relations, tenantsupport services and multiculturalism. Particularly for Jon Harstone Development Consultant ”smaller organizations, lack of opportunities for trainingor promotion, the small scale of operations which maylimit salaries and benefits, as well as the complex issuesfacing social housing providers make it difficult torecruit and keep new workers. New strategies are “ Several participants conceived of poor quality, unsafe housing asneeded to address these challenges. a human rights issue. Many felt that private landlords were notAnother provincial funding inequity which drains Citycoffers involves the rental subsidies provided to held to account to maintain housing in good repair. ”households receiving social assistance.The Provincepays a much smaller subsidy to social assistancerecipients in social housing, compared to those who Community Social Planningrent in the private market.The City is required to make Council of Torontoup the difference between that amount and the actualrent.This funding gap costs Toronto $77 millionannually: money that could be better spent on repairingsocial housing. 22 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  23. 23. Meanwhile, the federal government continues to reap a growing financial windfall from the expiry of social housing mortgage agreements in Toronto. The “ Everyone agrees that well- funded, well-managed social implications are staggering: by 2020 some $120 million in annual federal funding is scheduled to be withdrawn from Toronto’s social housing budget. housing is essential for communities to be socially and Social housing repair has topped the City’s list of recent economically viable. The City of investments — led by Council’s decision in 2008 to Toronto has taken all the action it invest $75 million from the sale of Toronto Hydro Telecom in the repair of Toronto Community Housing can to ensure the continued value buildings and suites.The provincial government has also of this city asset. But still the committed $36 million in repair funding. social housing stock continues tobe at risk. At best, the City does not Toronto Community Housing is implementing a 10-year, $952 million Real Estate Asset Investment Strategy tohave the fiscal capacity to continue refurbish more than 50,000 homes. The goal is to to meet its current social housing provide housing in a good state of repair within healthyresponsibilities. At worst, it cannot communities, cost-effective management and a 40 per manage the growing costs of the cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.Toronto existing stock, let alone provide Community Housing has $600 million in base funding the needed new stock. Doing for this strategy, leaving a $352 million gap. nothing or tinkering with the In 2009, the federal government, for the first time in status quo is not an option if the more than 10 years, committed, as part of its economic very fabric of the City is not to be recovery plan, new funding to repair existing social worn down by the continuing housing.That amounts to $704 million in federal/provincial funding in Ontario over the next deterioration of social housing several years. communities.Tied in Knots, ”Report to City Council, 2007 These initial investments over the short term are a good start and will result in better buildings and living conditions for social housing residents. But ensuring that this valuable asset achieves and maintains a state of good repair requires ongoing and sustainable funding. The private rental sector is not immune to these challenges. Among the 330,000 private rental homes scattered among a range of owners, from single independent owners to large real estate investment trusts, there is a significant need for costly upgrades.As repair costs may lead to rent increases, there must be a careful balancing of upgrades and affordability. Providing financial incentives to private market landlords can help achieve this balance. 23 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  24. 24. A promising new program is Mayor’s Tower Renewal.Launched in 2008, it will provide upgrades, communityinvestment and greening for Toronto’s 1,000 public and Success Story:private high-rise towers.This long-term initiative will Toronto Communitybring direct funding to apartment neighborhoods, foster Housing’s Unitvibrant communities and improve the environment by Refurbishmentreducing greenhouse gas emissions. ProgramGreen upgrades and renovations of existing high-rise Over three years, Torontobuildings will result in lower energy costs to rental Community Housing’s Unitoperators.When combined with financial incentive Refurbishment Program willprograms, they may also help keep rents affordable. upgrade 9,000 bathrooms and kitchens (and relatedMayor’s Tower Renewal now includes four buildings and mechanical systems) whichwill expand to others across Toronto over the next are currently in poor repair.several years. By 2020, it is anticipated that hundreds of The $76 million investmentbuildings could participate. includes $42 million fromWhile Tower Renewal will address the most energy the City of Toronto (Hydroinefficient high-rise buildings, there are significant Telecom sale) and $34maintenance and repair needs in the rest of the rental million from the Province.stock as well. Poorly maintained rental buildings are The program focuses onneither good for residents nor the community. Over those units in greatest needtime, such buildings become more costly to repair, are of repair and was developedabandoned or left for deliberate and premature with the direct input ofdemolition. tenants. This work willThe conversion or demolition of rental housing reduces improve the livingthe choices available to lower income residents.The conditions for thousands ofimpact is greater when the market does not produce people. The program willenough affordable rental housing. In 2002, the City also provide training andestablished policies to protect rental housing by employment opportunitiespreventing the demolition or conversion of residences for youth and tenants.with six or more units (unless replacements are Other key work includes theprovided in the case of demolition). removal of mould andIn 2007, Council confirmed this goal by adopting an asbestos to ensure safe andenhanced bylaw that extends the range of housing to be healthy living environments.protected.As a result, only 600 rental homes have beenlost between 2002 and 2008, much less than in otherlarge Ontario cities.Also launched in 2008, the Toronto Multi-ResidentialApartment Building Strategy provides an audit andenforcement program to upgrade 176 public and private 24 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  25. 25. sector rental buildings. Like Mayor’s Tower City Actions:Renewal, the strategy will assist low-and- 28. Ensure that the existing social housingmoderate income residents by promoting stock achieves and maintains a state ofsafe, well-maintained buildings. good repair by:Private rental operators are also eligible for a. Supporting the efforts of Torontosuch federal initiatives as the Residential Community Housing to implement itsRehabilitation Assistance Program, which is Real Estate Asset Investment Strategy.administered by the City. Between1998 and b. Working with non-profit and co-2008, the City has overseen the delivery of operative housing operators to improvemore than $52 million in grants and loans their financial capacity to respond toto support the repair, renovation and state of good repair needs and maintainretrofit of more than 5,400 low-income their buildings.rental homes. Over the next decade thereis a tremendous opportunity to expand 29. Strengthen the more than 250 non-existing federally funded renovation and profit and co-operative housingenergy retrofit initiatives. Such initiatives providers to make them even moreshould also give attention to fire prevention effective partners in delivering andinitiatives that improve the safety of maintaining social housing communitiesresidents and the preservation of housing. by: a. Encouraging the federal and provincialTo ensure private sector rental buildings are governments to invest in strategies torepaired and updated within the next ensure that social housing providers aredecade, there is a need to increase able to attract and keep qualifiedincentives and opportunities.This will be volunteer board members and staff.essential to preserve Toronto’s rental b. Working with social housing sectorhousing while providing affordable rents. organizations to seek opportunities forFinally, any discussion about the collaborations and mergers.preservation of affordable housing must c. Working with social housing sectoracknowledge the role of second suites and organizations to develop training torooming houses as part of the range of strengthen the capacity of housingaffordable housing options required in provider boards and staff.Toronto. For many of the City’s mostvulnerable residents, the availability of such 30. Ensure existing affordable rentaloptions means the difference between housing is preserved by:being homeless and being housed. Second a. Establishing an ‘abandoned buildingsuites and rooming houses also provide an protocol’ designed to identify andeffective way to integrate affordable provide solutions where rental buildingshousing into all of Toronto’s residential are deliberately left vacant.neighbourhoods. b. Consistently applying the Official Plan housing policies and the City’s conversion and demolition bylaw to 25 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  26. 26. prevent the loss of rental housing when Requests to the Federal property owners apply for City and Provincial Governments: approvals. 33.The federal government re-invest the31. Preserve and expand the supply of savings arising from the expiration of affordable housing available to single current agreements back into social persons by: housing. a. Encouraging and permitting an increase 34.The federal and provincial governments in legal, well run rooming houses and provide ongoing and sustainable other appropriate forms of housing funding to ensure the social housing where current zoning by-laws allow, and stock achieves and maintains a state of subject to any future changes to the good repair. zoning by-law. b. Providing training and other supports to 35.The provincial government increase the landlords and operators to assist them cap on rent scales for social assistance to improve and maintain the rooming recipients in rent-geared-to-income house stock. housing to match the maximum shelter allowances provided by Ontario Works32. Promote the repair and retrofit of and the Ontario Disability Support homes in the public and private rental Program. sector by: 36.The federal and provincial governments a. Expanding Mayor’s Tower Renewal facilitate the redevelopment and based on the recommendations refinancing of social housing by emerging from the pilot projects. amending regulations which limit b. Ensuring the existing private rental innovation in leveraging the use of stock is maintained in good repair social housing assets for investments in through a permanent proactive strategy building repairs, expansions and energy program, such as the Multi-Residential retrofits. Apartment Building Strategy. c. Working with social and private housing 37.The federal and provincial governments providers to promote fire safety, implement the recommendations from including the development of home the report, Tied in Knots: Unlocking the escape plans and the maintenance of Potential of Social Housing, approved working smoke alarms. by City Council in December 2007. 38.The federal and provincial governments increase funding for private-sector rental repair and energy retrofit programs while ensuring rents remain affordable. 26 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  27. 27. Strategic Theme Five Revitalize Neighbourhoods oronto’s diverse neighbourhoods are home to 2.7 “ It is not acceptable tocontinue ghettoizing low- T million people and are a powerful positive force, drawing investment, tourists and new residents. But while many of these neighbourhoods provide a mix income communities. We of housing opportunities and a range of services, too need to build mixed many others do not.That is why the City has focused on revitalizing existing neighbourhoods and developing income mixed-income and mixed-use communities. neighbourhoods.Consultation participant ”Community Social Planning Council In some cases, past decisions to build large public housing communities with limited services and infrastructure have contributed to the marginalization ofof Toronto low-income families and individuals in social housing buildings. Much of this social housing can be found within high- needs neighbourhoods where there is a concentration of poverty, coupled with a lack of community infrastructure.Toronto’s Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy seeks to strengthen the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods through an integrated, place-based partnership that connects the three orders of government with local stakeholders to better targetWhat we heard: community resources. Over the next decade, it is essential that the City build “ People want family-friendly public housing spread across the on this successful foundation to help revitalize and improve the quality of life in communities where residents live in poverty and isolation.city in quiet, safe neighbourhoods. Most want to live near This starts with providing a mix of housing conveniences like shopping, good opportunities in the revitalization of existing Toronto TTC, excellent schools and parks Community Housing communities and the development of new mixed-income communities. and services such as community centres and libraries. Toronto Community Housing is in the forefront of the ”St Stephen’s Community House City’s social housing revitalization efforts. Over the next 10 years,Toronto Community Housing will continue and complete the revitalization of Regent Park in Toronto’s east downtown. 27 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  28. 28. By 2020, Regent Park will be home to12,500 people living in a mix ofsocial, affordable and market rental Success Story:and ownership homes. Streets closed The New Regent Park Neighbourhoodfor more than 50 years will be re-opened. Residents will enjoy new Toronto Community Housing is transformingshopping services and new recreation Regent Park, one of Canada’s oldest andand aquatic centres, children’s hub largest social housing communities, into aand central park. vibrant, mixed-use, mixed-income community. It will look and feel much likeSuccessfully accomplishing this other downtown neighbourhoods.transformation will require ongoingsupport and investment from the Over six phases and some 15 years,federal, provincial and city beginning in 2006, Regent Park’s populationgovernments. Public investments to will grow from 7,500 people living in 2,083replace existing social housing and units – all social housing – to 12,500 peopleprovide new affordable rental and living in 5,115 social, affordable and marketownership opportunities will be a homes, both rental and ownership, with anfundamental component of this work. additional 375 new social housing unitsEnsuring that there is necessary created nearby. Keys to success include:capital investment in hard • Diversity: a socially-mixed, mixed-useinfrastructure, as well as in neighbourhood, featuring several differentcommunity facilities, is essential to building forms.the creation of healthy, sociallyinclusive neighbourhoods. • Reintegrating Regent Park with the City byLooking forward,Toronto Community aligning buildings along pedestrian-friendlyHousing has adopted a long-term streets, creating large new park spaces,strategy to revitalize another 13 social introducing retail and commercial uses, ashousing communities. It begins by well as opportunities for employment,working and consulting with education, culture and community facilities.residents of the existing 4,800 homesin these communities to determine • Creating a green community.the best approach. • Effective use of partnerships – TorontoToronto Community Housing has Community Housing with the City ofinitiated work on Lawrence Heights Toronto, provincial and federalas the next large-scale re- governments; with award-winning marketdevelopment. Revitalization here will developer The Daniels Corporation forrepair or rebuild 1,200 rent-geared-to- Phase One; and with community groups.income homes for 3,700 tenants onmore than 60 acres of land. • Having an open and democratic planning process (more than 2,000 residents andAs one of the City’s priority community stakeholders consulted).neighbourhoods, Lawrence Heights 28 Housing Opportunities Toronto
  29. 29. presents an opportunity to create a mixed seamlessly into the surrounding City.Theyincome, mixed-use community that is better will deliver a full range of housing,integrated with surrounding employment and community services suchneighbourhoods.The revitalization will as schools, libraries, childcare and transit. Inprovide a foundation for a strong the process, these new neighbourhoodscommunity through improved parks, better will transform under-used land into vibranttransit access, new pedestrian and road communities and clean up pollutedconnections, increased access to industrial brownfield sites.community and recreation services, as wellas education, employment and training Toronto’s waterfront will see significantopportunities. change over the next decade, spearheaded by the Waterfront Toronto Corporation, asCommunity revitalization provides the new development and revitalizationopportunity to replace aging, energy- proceeds on both public and privateinefficient buildings, build new property, much of it reclaimed brownfieldmixed-income neighbourhoods and take sites.The new mixed- incomeadvantage of the development potential of neighbourhoods of the West Don Lands andsurplus property. Overall,Toronto East Bayfront will proceed first.Community Housing’s revitalization planssupport the City’s efforts to make social and There are other large areas publicly orphysical infrastructure improvements institutionally-owned, that are set towithin these neighbourhoods. develop new neighbourhoods on surplus lands, such as York University and ParcAs occurred with Regent Park, the Downsview Park. In some instances, City-revitalization of additional communities will owned surplus sites in the vicinity may alsoleverage the value of existing land, thereby be made available for development.Thehelping to offset the cost of replacement City’s Official Plan policies require suchhomes. developments to provide a portion of new residential units as affordable housing, andHowever, additional funding beyond that to develop an affordable housing strategygenerated by specific sites will be required. for any new neighbourhood.That’s why there is a need for dedicatedfunding from the provincial and federal Private sector developers seeking increasedgovernments — which will be determined density on individual large residential sitesover the course of the 10-year Plan on a of five hectares or more will continue to becommunity-by-community basis. expected to incorporate affordable housing as a condition of the City’s planningRevitalization of neighbourhoods is not just approvals. But most residential developmentabout rebuilding existing homes – it is also in Toronto is on sites of less than fiveabout providing new housing in entirely hectares. Such applicants are not requirednew communities. by the Official Plan to include affordable housing when they apply for zoningBuilt from the ground up, these new changes to permit an increase in the new“complete” neighbourhoods will knit housing to be built. 29 An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010 - 2020
  30. 30. To further encourage these and other 42. Use planning tools to create affordableopportunities, the City will work with the housing in mixed income, inclusiveProvince to advocate for innovative communities by:approaches such as tax increment financing a. Adopting an Official Plan amendmentand inclusionary housing powers related to requiring more family-sized housingthe provision of affordable housing within a within the downtown area.broader range of new buildings and new b. Prioritizing the use of the Official Plancommunities. housing policies for large sites and newCity Actions: neighbourhoods to secure affordable housing as part of the planning approval39. Support Toronto Community Housing in process, and the use of Section 37 of the the completion of the Regent Park Planning Act to obtain contributions for revitalization by: affordable housing from other a. Facilitating City approvals and residential developments where density coordinating City actions. and/or height is increased. b. Providing incentives, where appropriate, to support the redevelopment of the Requests to the Federal existing community. and Provincial Governments: 43.The federal and provincial governments40. Support and participate in the participate as funding partners in city- revitalization of 13 social housing identified neighbourhood revitalization communities, starting with Lawrence projects, including future phases of Heights, as part of Toronto Community Regent Park, Lawrence Heights and Housing’s 10-year Real Estate Asset other social housing initiatives. Investment Strategy by: a. Facilitating required City approvals and 44.The federal and provincial governments coordinating City actions. participate as funding partners to b. Providing City incentives, where achieve affordable housing targets in appropriate, to support the revitalization projects such as the redevelopment of the existing Waterfront and shelter redevelopment. communities. 45.The provincial government provide41. Support and participate in the Toronto with new powers to implement revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront, an inclusionary housing program and including the creation of 2,400 tax increment financing to increase affordable rental homes in the West Don affordable housing opportunities in new Lands and East Bayfront by: developments. a. Facilitating required City approvals and coordinating City actions. b. Providing City incentives, where appropriate, to support the development of the new communities. 30 Housing Opportunities Toronto

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