Opening the Door to New Affordable Housing Opportunities

As Toronto's Housing Advocate, an important part of my commitment to improving housing affordability includes finding new ways, partnerships and tools for the City of Toronto and its housing partners to build new affordable housing. The City's Open Door program is our newest initiative to help spur the construction of new affordable housing. 

Open Door takes advantage of the ongoing housing construction boom by partnering with non-profit and private sector developers to reduce the costs associated with building new affordable units. This program takes advantage of the tools that the City of Toronto has to provide a comprehensive package of incentives for our housing partners.

These incentives include a fast-tracked planning review process which reduces the planning approvals wait period from 18 months down to 12 months. Since time is money, this move allows builders to lower their project carrying costs and construct new affordable units. A second key tool partners developers with the City to take advantage of surplus City real estate to build and operate new affordable housing. The City will also waive development and property tax charges on new affordable housing units within new developments to lower their costs and secure a long-term 25 year commitment to maintaining affordability in units under the Open Door Program. 

This investment is a significant step forward to create new affordable housing activity as we work with our provincial and federal partners to implement Inclusionary Zoning and build a National Housing Strategy. All three levels of government are in agreement that we must take action now to improve housing affordability. It is critical that we utilize this opportunity to improve housing conditions for Torontonians now and into the future. 

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