Toronto is in a Housing Crisis, It’s Time to Elect a Mayor That Acts Like It.
Toronto – Gil Penalosa released his Homes for Everyone plan today, which will deliver more affordable homes for Torontonians of all economic backgrounds.
“Toronto is in a housing crisis. It’s time to elect a Mayor who acts like it,” said Penalosa. “Nurses, construction workers, retail clerks, students, and those on fixed incomes all deserve to have a home they can afford without choosing between groceries and rent or a mortgage payment on the first of the month.”
Tory’s failed Housing Now program has not resulted in even a single shovel in the ground, and his overly complicated planning regime has delayed construction by endlessly litigating individual developments.
The Homes for Everyone plan provides the right incentives and allowances to build more affordable homes faster in complete neighbourhoods. Altogether, the plan upzones land for 1.9 million new homes, which more than meets Toronto’s target for the next 50 years and eliminates the need to pave over green space and prime agricultural land outside the city.
On public land, the City will directly hire construction companies, allowing deeper affordability by cutting out for-profit developers.
While the provincial government has legislative control on lands adjacent to subway stations, The Housing for Everyone plan opens up new housing opportunities by incentivizing the construction of up to six new units in neighbourhoods and allowing as-of-right construction on main streets with transit.
Gil Penalosa’s Homes for Everyone will be transformational. The plan includes:
Public Builder on Public Lands: 100% Affordable Housing on City-owned Land
- 2/3 affordable, 1/3 deep affordable
- Affordable: 80-100% CMHC average market rate ($1,157 – $1,446)
- Deep affordable: 30% of income for OW, ODSP recipients ($400 – $600)
- Vienna-style revolving fund for new building and maintenance
- Allow development on all public land where possible including parking lots, libraries, and community centres to open space for 100,000 new units
- Work with the provincial and federal governments to open allow affordable housing on LCBOs, Canada Post, and other public land.
- End single-family exclusionary zoning citywide.
- Allow homeowner as-of-right renovation to create up to 6 units as-of-right.
- Allow as-of-right new construction up to 6 units on 3 – 4 floors, depending on the neighbourhood.
- Leverage the federal National Housing Strategy for homeowner loans.
- Establish a one-stop-shop City Team to facilitate adding new units including legal, architectural, building permit support to reduce costs and speed up construction.
- Incentivize construction now with no fees or development charges for five years.
- One affordable unit (80-100% CMHC average market rate) for every three created.
- Rent Control and eviction protection on all units created through the program.
- Owner: will receive rents from units to spend in local economy; allows older adults to age in place
- Contractors: mostly small and medium size, creating work for thousands of entrepreneurs and trades workers
- Renters: will have thousands of units, very fast, in all neighbourhoods, one third of which will be affordable.
- As-of-right height equal to the width of the road on all main streets with transit.
- No pyramid stepbacks.
- Additional storey allowance for purpose-built rental projects.
- Compliance with Inclusionary Zoning to build affordable units.
- Street level commercial for small businesses. No parking required.
Malls and Power Centres to Power Neighbourhoods:
- Malls and Power Centres with large surface parking lots to undergo a Master Planning process to create complete neighbourhoods with social infrastructure such as parks, schools, libraries, and community centres.
- Master-plan at least 500 metres by 500 metres at each location, not litigating each individual building on the property.
- Parking tax to be implemented in five years to incentivize development now.
Curb Real Estate Speculation:
- Increase the land transfer tax on the purchase of homes not used for a primary residence.
- Double the vacant home tax.
- Work with the provincial government to extend the foreign buyers’ tax to all speculative home purchases for non-primary residences.
Legalize Multi-Tenant Homes
- Legalize and promote multi-tenant homes, urgently needed by unhoused people, students, those on fixed incomes, and temporary and low-income workers.
- In his first 100 days, Penalosa will bring a motion to legalize multi-tenant homes to debate after years of inexcusable delays.
- City Staff position to help beautify Toronto and speed up development.
- Act as an advisor to the mayor, council, City Staff, homeowners, and developers.
- Establish guidelines for private developers that provide surety while encouraging unique architectural excellence.
- Promote good city building and design practices for public sector including parks, street furniture, transit stations, libraries, and community centres.