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City's new $23.4B housing plan aims to help more than 340,000 households

Last Updated Dec 3, 2019 at 3:15 pm EDT

City of Toronto announces new affordable housing plan, Dec. 3, 2019. CITYNEWS

Mayor John Tory is making big promises for the city’s housing plan.

On Tuesday, Tory unveiled the City of Toronto’s 10-year action plan on affordable housing.

The plan includes approving 40,000 new affordable rental homes, 18,000 new supportive housing units for vulnerable residents and 10,000 new affordable rental and supportive homes for women and girls.

Tory calls the plan a “comprehensive blueprint” that will help more than 340,000 households when it’s fully implemented.

However, in order to meet the project’s timeline, the mayor said it’s essential for all three levels of government to lock in their investments.

“The City of Toronto, under existing arrangements with respect to how we’re able to tax and invest, is simply not able to deal with these challenges on its own,” Tory explained.

The project is estimated to cost $23.4 billion.

The City’s commitment through current and future investments is proposed to be $8.5 billion over 10 years (including operating, capital investment and other financial tools).

Tory said he is “less certain at this stage” how much the city can count on the assistance from the provincial and federal governments.

“What we need to have is a definite commitment from the other governments that they too are going to participate over the 10 year plan to the extent of sharing the balance of the cost of these programs,” Tory said.

“I am going to be as determined an advocate in getting the funding for this series of initiatives as I was in getting the money from the federal government for the repair of Toronto Community Housing. But we need them to commit. We need them to commit sooner than later.”

On top of new affordable homes, the plan also includes ways to keep people in the homes in which they are already living. These include enhanced measures to prevent evictions, preserve the rental homes that currently exist, and adopting a new program definition of affordable housing based on income.

The plan would offer up more land — both existing and acquired. Only 11 sites are available at this point.

The blueprint goes to the Planning and Housing Committee next week.

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