Toronto Mayor John Tory says he wants to focus on affordable housing as a top priority for the first 100 days of his second term.
“My commitment to meeting and beating the target that we did set, 40,000 units over 12 years, will not waver and there is no time to lose in getting on with that because the clock is now ticking,” Tory said during a news conference at city hall on Wednesday.
Tory said he has met with city staff following his election victory on Monday and 10 new sites of surplus city-owned land have been identified as locations for additional affordable housing units to be built.
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“It is time to get on with building and I want to build as much affordable housing as possible and to do it as quickly as possible,” Tory said.
Tory said the city’s chief transformation office will deliver a report within the next 30 days on how to cut red tape and streamline the process to speed up construction.
“My expectation is that we will be able to use that report as the basis of streamlining a process that has become, in many cases, too cumbersome and too slow,” Tory said.
“I want to know how we can fast-track the approval of purpose-built rental housing generally and affordable rental housing in particular and my hope is that the report will provide a roadmap for us to get to that point.”
Tory said he also wants the federal and provincial governments to come forward with surplus land in Toronto to increase the supply of affordable housing.
“The province has in the recent past, at my request, made surplus land available for affordable housing. I thank them for that but I want them to keep going,” Tory said.
“The sites that have been made available have been very helpful to us and will be significant sites for significant amounts of affordable and other kinds of housing.”
Tory defeated former chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat and 33 other mayoral candidates by securing 63.5 per cent of the vote in Monday’s municipal election.
Tory is the 65th mayor of Toronto. His second term officially starts on Dec. 1.
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