Toronto’s Open Door Program recommends steps for 651 new affordable homes

Mayor John Tory announced the results of the 2019 call for Affordable Rental Housing Applications as part of the City’s Open Door Program to create more affordable rental housing across Toronto.

The report will go before city council in October for approval.

The proposals follow a competitive Call for Applications that was issued on February 25 and closed on May 3. The report recommends eight non-profit and private sector development proposals, representing a total of 651 affordable homes.

Three of the eight recommended proposals are from non-profit housing organizations representing 215 homes across Toronto.

In addition, the report recommends pre-development funding for five non-profit groups to assist them in revising their plans should they wish to apply in future Call for Applications. These five proposals represent another potential 538 non-profit homes in the pipeline.

This report recommends that city council allocate more than $12 million in city funding from the Development Charges Reserve Fund for Subsidized Housing and approximately the value of $38 million in financial incentives under the terms of the Open Door Program. City financial incentives include breaks in development charges, building permits and planning fees and municipal property taxes. The combined average of these incentives for the developments recommended is $58,850 per home.

“We want a city that is open to all – inclusive means not just embracing diverse backgrounds but also building a city in which people of all different income levels and occupations can afford to live. Residents of our city need and want access to affordable housing and as Mayor, I am committed to creating more affordable housing options for residents,” said Mayor John Tory.

This is the third annual Open Door Program Call for Applications and, since 2016, a total of 6,694 affordable rental homes have been approved under the program. Subject to approval of this report by council, the total number of affordable homes created through the Open Door Program will be approximately 7,350 across the city.

To fast track affordable housing, the Open Door Program brings together critical elements needed to kick-start affordable rental and ownership housing construction: surplus public land designated for new affordable rental and ownership housing; fast-tracked planning approvals through a Gold Star review process; additional city financial incentives; and federal/provincial funding.

Access to safe, secure, affordable housing in all parts of Toronto is a fundamental goal of the city’s 10-year Housing Opportunities Toronto (HOT) Action Plan 2010-2020. The provision of new affordable housing is also a goal of the city’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

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