Creating and maintaining affordable housing is one of the City of Toronto's key priorities. The Affordable Housing Office expedites affordable housing development, facilitates the development of new policy and works in partnership with the federal and provincial governments and the private and voluntary sectors on a range of initiatives. City Council established the Affordable Housing Office and the Affordable Housing Committee in 2005.
The City of Toronto recognizes that legal, regulated rooming houses and similar accommodations play an important role in providing housing opportunities for residents.
To support the preservation of these properties, the City has issued an RFP inviting applications for funding for essential health and safety repairs, renovations, and accessibility modifications. The RFP provides up to $5 million in federal/provincial funding to extend the functional life of legal, regulated rooming houses and similar accommodations. It closes at 12 noon, June 22, 2015.
Close the Housing Gap continues to gain momentum following two very successful events.
Close the Housing Gap Rally
Some 400 people packed the Council Chambers and a committee room at City Hall April 28 for the Close the Housing Gap Rally. An appreciative and motivated crowd heard from rousing speakers, such as Councillors Ana Bailao and Pam McConnell, Toronto Community Housing resident Susan Gapka, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association President Shard Karur and Tom Clement, Executive Director, Co-operatve Housing Federation of Toronto.
Speakers from the audience also took part and their experiences, stories and suggestions were well received. The event was a partnership between the City, Toronto Community Housing and the housing co-op movement.
Close the Housing Gap Summit
On April 29, at a beautiful new Toronto Community Housing seniors building on King Street East, more than 50 people came together to discuss next steps for the campaign and what needed to be done to help build and maintain affordable, social and co-op housing.
Councillors Bailao and McConnell, Toronto Community Housing Interim President and CEO Greg Spearn and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health President and CEO Catherine Zahn kicked things off with informative speeches. Participants ranged from Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment Foundation, to unions, developers, banks and social agencies such as Kehilla and Maytree.
The City and Toronto Community Housing launched the campaign to persuade the federal and provincial governments to continue funding social housing at existing levels and provide new, long-term funding for social housing capital repairs and new affordable housing.
As well, Ottawa and Queen's Park need to enter into a funding partnership to address the impact of expiring non-profit and co-op social housing agreements.
IRepairing Toronto Community Housing buildings and revitalizing TCHC communities will create 220,000 employment years of new jobs, spur some $5 billion in private investment and generate $4.5 billion in federal and provincial taxes, says a new study prepared by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis.
Mayor John Tory appointed an independent six-person Housing Task Force to take a hard look at how Toronto Community Housing serves the people of Toronto and how it is governed.
The City of Toronto joined Options for Homes and residents have officially opened Cranbrooke Village, which provides 341 new affordable ownership homes. Of those, 94 were made more deeply affordable through a $1.42-million investment from the City of Toronto's Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP).
Habitat for Humanity GTA has honoured Councillor Ana Bailão, Chair, Affordable Housing Committee and City Housing Advocate, and Sean Gadon, Director, Affordable Housing Office, for their dedication and contributions to the creation of affordable housing.
Habitat President and CEO Ene Underwood presented Visionary Awards to Bailão and Gadon at the March 9, 2015 meeting of the Affordable Housing Committee. The City of Toronto was also presented with the award in recognition of its long and successful partnership with Habitat.
City Council has approved the creation of Toronto's first affordable housing for young women who are victims of human trafficking.Toronto has been identified as one of the principle destinations or transit points for individuals, mostly women and children, who have been trafficked, according to a City report.
City Council has given the green light for an innovative plan to develop 80 affordable rental homes within a market condominium building on Toronto's waterfront. The Bayside development integrates affordable and market residential housing and retail space. It contributes to the creation of a mixed community in the emerging East Bayfront neighbourhood.
The development, expected to be completed in 2018-2019, is the result of a partnership between the City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, developers Hines/Tridel and Artscape.
Toronto City Council has adopted three reports, including an unprecedented funding arrangement, that will support Toronto Community Housing's ongoing transformation into a landlord of excellence.
Details of affordable rental and ownership homes under construction or recently completed.
City Council has allocated $197.1 million over the next five years under the federal/provincial Investment in Affordable Housing Extension program.
Note: The Toronto Renovates Homeowners Program has more than 700 Assessment Requests that have been processed or are waiting to be processed. This represents more than two years' worth of clients, based on current staffing and anticipated funding –and the program is oversubscribed.
In order to avoid a longer waiting time, the Affordable Housing Office has temporarily suspended accepting Toronto Renovates Assessment Requests as of 5 p.m. on September 30, 2014.
A brochure listing other sources of potential funding for home repairs is available here.
It is anticipated that the program will again begin accepting Assessment Requests before the end of 2015, once current clients have been served.
The Toronto Renovates program offers federal/provincial funding for lower-income seniors and people with a disability who wish to make health and safety repairs or accessibility modifications to their homes.
Non-profit housing developers can qualify for exemptions from the City of Toronto's planning application and development fees. In this way, the City helps make new affordable rental housing even more affordable.
The City of Toronto works with a number of groups that provide affordable home ownership opportunities. Please contact our community partners directly to learn what assistance they can offer:
Canary District Condominiums - MyHome Program at 416-603-7576 or canarydistrictmyhome.com
Toronto Community Housing and the Daniels Corporation at 416-955-0559 or danielsoneparkplace.com
Options for Homes at 416-867-1501 or optionsforhomes.ca
Habitat for Humanity Toronto at 416-755-7353 ext. 490 or torontohabitat.ca/apply-for-a-home/information-session-dates.html
Aboriginal purchasers should also contact the Miziwe Biik Development Corporation at 416-640-4688, 416-640-4688 or mbdc.ca/housing_loans.html
The City of Toronto offers assistance for residents coping with poverty, inadequate or unaffordable housing and homelessness.
Low-income homeowners seeking assistance for health and safety repairs can access a variety of government, non-profit and private sector programs.
This committee oversees Affordable Housing Office activities, which include directing federal/ provincial investments in affordable housing in partnership with private and non-profit developers.