Toronto city council adopts policy requiring some new developments to include affordable housing

A condominium being built on Front St. East near Sherbourne St., is photographed on Nov 9 2020. Globe and Mail via The Canadian Press

Toronto city council has adopted a policy which will require some new residential developments to include affordable housing units.

The Inclusionary Zoning plan, which includes draft implementation guidelines and a zoning bylaw amendment, will make it mandatory for certain new developments to include affordable ownership and rental housing options beginning next year, City officials said in a news release Tuesday.

The release said the amount of affordable housing required in a development will depend on where it is located and whether the intent is for rental or ownership units. It will target developments “around Protected Major Transit Stations Areas,” with the most requirements in the downtown core followed by Midtown and Scarborough Centre, the statement said.

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The policy will initially require that five to 10 per cent of condominium units are affordable housing, increasing to eight to 22 per cent by 2030.

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“Toronto’s Inclusionary Zoning framework sets out foundational requirements for affordable housing to be incorporated on a consistent basis in new developments and ensures affordability is maintained for 99 years,” the statement said.

“The policy will be closely monitored and reviewed after one year to allow for adjustments that may be required including changes to the phase-in and/or set aside rate, alterations to the minimum development size threshold and any other changes needed to ensure market stability and production of affordable housing units.”

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Officials said other parts of the city will be analyzed to see if there are areas to which the policy should be expanded.

The policy will target households with an annual income of anywhere from $32,486 to $91,611.

Officials said it will help achieve the City’s plan of approving 40,000 affordable rental homes and 4,000 affordable ownership homes by 2030.

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Toronto is the first city in Ontario to implement an inclusionary zoning program.

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