Toronto City Council has adopted an ambitious affordable housing plan. Under the plan, 65,000 rent-controlled houses will be built by 2030. However, it still has a funding shortfall of several hundred dollars.
On the councilor floor last November 8, Mayor Olivia Chow emphasized that it is cheaper to house people than to house them in shelters.
Chou spoke of opening up government land worth $3 billion and raising the target of affordable housing. The City will work as a public builder alongside nonprofits and other levels of government toward this goal.
Deputy Mayor Asma Malik said, “Inability to have access to safe and secure housing is causing our community to suffer. City authorities have come forward to fulfill their responsibilities in solving this problem. That’s what we did today.
Under the plan, 41,000 affordable rental homes, 6,500 rent-geared-to-income homes and 17,500 rent-controlled homes will be constructed over the next seven years. However, some councilors argued that this is not possible through the private sector.
Councilor Diane Sacks said there was no magical unicorn that would come forward to deliver homes.
Olivia Chow’s opponent in the mayoral by-election was Councilor Brad Badford. Questioning the capacity of the city as a public builder, he said, will this idea be easier, faster and less expensive for the government? I don’t think anyone here would say that.
Councilor Paula Fletcher said, “We cannot be risk-averse when it comes to housing.” Many people in this city need affordable housing.
The plan will require $800 million annually from Ottawa and Queen’s Park. The province has agreed to a new financial deal with Toronto. Last week, the federal government also agreed to come to the negotiating table in this regard.
Chow said the ball is now in the federal government’s court. The ball has been there for some time.