Toronto city council approves 'comprehensive' plan on housing
Plan calls for creation of 40,000 new affordable rental homes in city
Toronto city council has approved a housing plan that commits the city over 10 years to building affordable rental homes, preventing evictions, helping seniors remain in their homes and that acknowledges that housing is a right.
Mayor John Tory said the HousingTO 2020-2030 action plan, which he called "a comprehensive blueprint," provides the city with a "critically important path forward" on housing and will help to ensure that the issue remains a council priority.
City council approved the plan by 24 to 1. Tory said the plan is expected to help more than 341,000 households in Toronto.
"The plan addresses the full spectrum of housing from homelessness and social housing to affordable rental housing and long-term care," Tory said on Tuesday.
As part of the vote on the plan, council also sent "a clear message to federal and provincial governments that homelessness in Toronto is an ongoing critical and emergency issue requiring those two governments to commit on an expedited basis to build on the initiatives the city has taken to date."
Tory said the plan is expected to cost $23.4 billion over 10 years, of which the city is expected to cover $8.5 billion. The plan calls on the federal and provincial governments to commit $14.9 billion.
"This has to be a priority — we have to come together to support households who are struggling to pay the rent and keep, or put, a roof over their heads," Tory said in a news release.
Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, who represents Ward 9 Davenport and who chairs the planning and housing committee, said Toronto residents deserve to live in "safe, well-maintained and affordable" housing and she is confident that the plan will lead to positive change.
"It affirms housing as a right where everyone deserves to have a safe, affordable and secure home and recognizes homelessness as a critical and emergency issue that all governments must address," Bailão said on Tuesday.
Under the plan, the city pledges to do the following:
- Approve 40,000 new affordable rental homes, including 18,000 new supportive homes for vulnerable residents, some of whom are homeless or at risk of being homeless. A minimum of 25 per cent, or 10,000, will be dedicated to women and girls, including female-led households.
- Prevent 10,000 evictions for low-income households.
- Improve housing affordability for 40,000 households.
- Help more than 10,000 seniors remain in their homes or move to long-term care facilities.
The plan contains 76 actions for the city to take to address the needs of its residents. These actions include:
- Adopt a revised "Toronto Housing Charter: Opportunity for All" document.
- Improve measures to prevent evictions and people becoming homeless.
- Preserve the rental homes that currently exist.
- Adopt a new definition of affordable rental housing based on income.
- Create a land bank to support the approval of 40,000 new rental and supportive homes.
- Encourage the federal and provincial governments to support the creation of supportive and affordable rental homes.
Our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HousingTO?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HousingTO</a> 2020-2030 Action Plan – developed by the City in full consultation with residents, the housing sector, and housing advocates – will help more than 341,000 Toronto households with an ambitious target of approving 40,000 new affordable rental homes. <a href="https://t.co/xDJjZn3udq">pic.twitter.com/xDJjZn3udq</a>—@JohnTory