Merton St, downtown Toronto

About Housing Now

The Housing Now Initiative is investing in City-owned lands across Toronto for the development of affordable housing within mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities.

Toronto City Scape

Housing Now

Housing Now will create a mix of affordable rental, market rental and ownership housing options to serve Toronto residents. The new affordable rental homes will remain affordable for 99 years, providing quality housing opportunities for future generations. The affordable homes will be affordable for households earning up to $68,000 per year.

The creation of new housing on City-owned lands will provide Toronto residents with opportunities to live affordably near transit hubs and close to places of work, education and services. Investment in these well-located sites will also contribute to the broader community by delivering new amenities, revitalized public spaces and improved access to transit.

The First 11 Properties

City Council initiated Housing Now in December 2018 to accelerate the development of affordable housing and mixed-income, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities on 11 City-owned properties

Phase One of the Housing Now Initiative was initially estimated to create approximately 10,000 new residential units with approximately 3,700 affordable rental units. Based on work done to-date to advance the first four priority sites, Phase One is now estimated to create approximately 10,826 residential units, with 7,833 being purpose-built rental housing, including almost 3,900 affordable rental units.

New daycares, expansion to public parks, community space, employment opportunities, improved public realm and new public streets will also be developed at these sites.

CreateTO Housing Now - Wilson Subway Station
Housing Now, a Toronto Affordable Housing Inititative

Phase 2 Sites

In May 2020, City Council approved the second phase of Housing Now. The six new sites in Phase Two will create between 1,455 to 1,710 new residential units including an estimated 1,600 purpose-built rentals, of which an estimated 800 will be affordable rental units. The sites are close to transit, as well as commercial and employment areas, and create opportunities to further develop complete communities, bringing benefits to existing and future residents.  

Expanding Housing Now will increase and accelerate the creation of affordable housing opportunities for households with diverse income levels.

Principles and Objectives

The development of new housing through Toronto’s Housing Now Initiative is guided by the following principles, which were adopted by City Council:

  1. Develop the properties to achieve the highest possible public benefits.
  2. Optimize the development of market and affordable rental housing with a mix of unit types and sizes.
  3. Create homes affordable for a diverse range of incomes, including deeply affordable homes.
  4. Appropriately address and accommodate existing City uses and other operations on the 17 sites.
  5. Retain public ownership of the properties, including prioritizing long-term land leases.
    • Affordability will be secured for new affordable rental units for 99 years
  6. Engage City Councillors and local communities in the planning and developing of each property.
  7. Support the participation of non-profit organizations in the Housing Now Initative and encourage their involvement in the market offering process through a $1-million fund approved by City Council. 
CreateTO Housing Now
Toronto, people walking

Action across the Housing Spectrum

Housing Now is a key program within the City of Toronto’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan and contributes towards the City’s target of approving 40,000 affordable rental units, including 18,000 supportive housing units over the next 10 years.

The Plan makes recommendations for action to address challenges identified across the housing spectrum, ranging from emergency shelter beds, safe and legal multi-tenant houses and long-term care homes to market affordability challenges for first-time homebuyers.

The City is moving forward on providing new housing opportunities through new affordable housing approvals and policy changes, including expanded permissions for secondary suites and laneway housing and a made-in-Toronto approach to short-term rentals.