About Housing Now
The Housing Now Initiative is investing in City-owned lands across Toronto to build affordable housing and mixed-income, livable communities Near Transit.
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 between approximately $21,000 and $52,000 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. This first phase of Housing Now has the potential to create more than 10,000 new residential units, including over 3,700 affordable rental units, with rents averaging 80 per cent of Toronto’s average market rent.
In 2019, City and CreateTO staff are advancing background studies, engaging with residents and stakeholders, and developing concept plans and business cases for a first set of properties.
Four of the 11 properties – including 140 Merton St., 50 Wilson Heights, 777 Victoria Park Ave., and 705 Warden Ave., – will be offered to market in 2019 with the remaining properties ready for market offering in 2020.
Principles and ObjectivesThe development of new housing through Toronto’s Housing Now Initiative will be guided by the following principles, which were adopted by City Council:
- Develop the properties to achieve the highest possible public benefits.
- Optimize the development of market and affordable rental housing with a mix of unit types and sizes.
- At least 20 per cent of all units will meet or exceed accessibility standards.
- Create homes affordable for a diverse range of incomes, including deeply affordable homes.
- Average rents across all affordable units in each site will not exceed 80 per cent of the average market rent for the City of Toronto.
- A minimum of 10 per cent of all units will be deeply affordable, rented at 40 per cent of average market rent.
- Appropriately address and accommodate existing City uses and other operations on the 11 sites.
- Retain public ownership of the properties, including prioritizing long-term land leases.
- Affordability will be secured for new affordable rental units for 99 years
- Engage City Councillors and local communities in the planning and developing of each property.
Action across the Housing Spectrum
Housing Now is one component within the City of Toronto’s emerging HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan to address the full spectrum of housing issues in Toronto.
The new Plan will make 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.