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Ana Bailão’s Housing Plan - Detailed Backgrounder

Click here to read the Executive Summary

Ana Bailão’s Housing Plan will make life better and more affordable by putting people first, building homes, and getting City Hall moving. Her Plan takes action to urgently build more homes, create pathways out of homelessness, and protect residents and renters who have homes today.

This Housing Plan will protect 237,000 renters, build 285,000 new homes with 57,000 being purpose-built rental homes, and will support 95,000 vulnerable residents. The total cost of this Plan’s new initiatives is $48.5 million which will come from the City Building Fund which is forecasted to generate $60 million this year.

Putting People First: Support for Vulnerable Residents 

Toronto is a home of opportunity and success – a place where we can work to end chronic homelessness and the need to shelter in parks and emergency shelters. On any given night, almost 11,000 residents, new immigrants and refugees rely on emergency shelter services. As a city, we need to create stronger pathways from homelessness, greater hope and more solutions for a better housing future.

We must start by providing greater housing security and ending chronic homelessness, which disproportionately impacts women, Black and Indigenous people, racialized people and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

As Mayor, Ana Bailão will create new pathways out of homelessness by: 

  • Doubling the number of modular supportive homes built in Toronto to create long-term pathways out of homelessness. This will continue the expansion of the Modular Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative where 159 homes have opened at three sites, with four new sites with 231 homes in the pipeline, and establishing the goal of achieving 1,000 new modular homes by 2031.

  • Investing $5 million to expand the Dufferin Grove Park Pilot Project city-wide to support persons living outside. Expanding the human rights-based housing response over 700 people currently living outside that provides access to appropriate and supportive housing.

  • Investing $5 million in post-pandemic recovery funding to assist non-profit and charitable shelter operators to retain and attract qualified staff.

  • Directing $5 million to rental assistance for women and gender-diverse people escaping domestic violence, providing immediate safe and secure housing. With housing support of $10,000 per family towards annual rent, this will assist 500 families fleeing violence - especially in securing that crucial first-and-last month’s rent for an apartment.

  • Holding the federal government accountable for their financial responsibility to provide critical social support for refugees and newcomers in Toronto. An estimated $80 million is currently needed to provide emergency shelter for some 600 refugee families and individuals fleeing violence and persecution in their own countries.

  • Developing a program to match the current waiting list of 700 individuals requiring accessible housing with accessible and affordable rental housing units being developed by the private-sector.

Putting People First: Protecting Renters and Affordable Homes

Housing in Toronto comes in all shapes and sizes, and reflects the growth and diversity of our City. Nearly three million Toronto residents already live in a home they own or are renters - yet many face increasing threats of housing insecurity. Our work starts with valuing, protecting and improving the housing already here.

As Mayor, Ana Bailão will protect renters and affordable homes by:

  • Strengthening the full range of eviction prevention programs - including tripling the City’s existing Rent Bank to $15 million annually – to help provide a safety net for over 5,000 households (12,000 people) facing economic eviction.

  • Investing $10 million to establish a specialized Anti-Displacement and Eviction Prevention Unit within Municipal Licencing and Standards to prevent evictions, renovictions, and displacement. This will improve the delivery and enforcement of housing standards with 30 additional staff, develop people-centred housing rights training, and provide greater housing security for Toronto renters.

  • Defending Toronto’s regulatory authority to control the demolition and conversion of rental housing.

  • Temporarily freezing new proposals that would demolish rental apartment buildings, for reasons other than health and safety, while undertaking a comprehensive city-wide review to provide greater predictability to all parties. This short-term measure impacts more than 3,500 apartment buildings and over 225,000 residents living in Toronto.

  • Investing $3.5 million to fund and expand the City’s Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Responsiveness to Vulnerability (SPIDER) Program, supporting six times more people to make their homes safer and healthier. This will help hundreds of residents facing the most complex health and safety challenges by coordinating city departments, community agencies, landlords and homeowners. 

  • Supporting 90,000 families by working with non-profit and co-operative housing providers to maintain long-term affordability and quality of non-profit homes through the renewal of operating agreements.

  • Working with universities, colleges, unions, building trades and public interest organizations to create a Centre for Housing and Environmental Innovation, aimed at delivering environmental sustainability in building practices.

  • Coordinating with the Government of Ontario, colleges and universities, and student unions on the growing need for affordable accommodation and to develop a purpose-built Student Housing Strategy.

  • Working with the federal and provincial governments, and the non-profit and co-operative housing sectors, to unlock program funding for building the full range of supportive, transitional and permanent affordable housing based on a renter’s income and ability to pay the rent.

Building Homes

Toronto is a city that welcomes people from around the world. Our success is not in standing still but in growing and prospering together. To meet the challenges ahead, we need to build a diversity of new rental and ownership housing to provide homes that are affordable, environmentally sustainable, supportive and responsive to everyone’s needs.

As Mayor, Ana Bailão will build more homes in Toronto by: 

  • Establishing partnerships with governments, the private sector and non-profits to support the development and delivery of the City’s pledge of 285,000 new homes by 2031.

  • Setting a target that 20% of the 285,000 new homes pledged to be built - with a minimum of 57,000 homes - be purpose-built rental homes.

  • Getting shovels in the ground on Housing Now projects by requiring approved projects that receive a building permit by June 27th 2024 to have started construction no later than December 31st 2024. Should these conditions not be met, the City will reserve the right to cancel funding approvals and re-tender the site.

  • Investing $10 million to speed up construction readiness for non-profit and co-op organizations’ pre-development activities, allowing them to leverage matching funding from CMHC.

  • Supporting the construction of new purpose-built housing, by continuing the freeze on development charge increases and advocating to the federal and provincial governments for additional financial incentives.

  • Seeking the authority from the Government of Ontario to approve housing developments where the site is zoned to be built and operated as rental housing.
  • Making additional surplus municipal properties available to non-profit and co-operative housing operators for the purpose of building new rental and ownership affordable homes.

  • Negotiating with the provincial and federal governments, and their agencies, to commit to a minimum of 20% affordable homes on surplus lands located near transit stations, presenting an immediate opportunity to secure more than 5,000 affordable units in Toronto.

  • Holding the provincial government accountable for their commitment to “keep Toronto whole,” by securing $1.2B in financial compensation over 10 years, to reverse the negative impact of the More Homes, Built Faster Act, 2022 (Bill 23).

  • Fostering a safe, healthy and vibrant building sector through support for skilled trades and new apprenticeship opportunities.

Getting City Hall Moving

By working together on housing, we can create a city where life is better and more affordable for everyone. We have done it before when governments have worked effectively together – where we have pooled our resources and energized people – towards a common unified vision.

As Mayor, Ana Bailão will get City Hall moving by:

  • Leading a Mayor’s campaign on residential intensification to develop incentives and programs to support the delivery of Toronto’s pledge of 285,000 new homes by 2031.

  • Holding City Hall accountable by directing the City Manager to publish annual public updates on our housing progress. This “State of Housing” Progress Report will track the delivery of the housing plan and identify any gaps in housing policies and programs that must be addressed.

  • Striking a “Stronger Together” approach to intergovernmental relations on housing issues through the City of Toronto working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Canada’s Big City Mayors and establishing a new relationship with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

  • Championing updates to planning regulations, zoning and land use to get homes built with a focus on “missing middle” housing of medium scale and density that meets the needs of residents between condos and single-family homes.

  • Continuing the City’s efforts to confront climate change by introducing additional environmental measures, benchmarks, and programs - including relaxing urban design guidelines - to improve the environmental performance and metrics of Toronto’s existing and future homes.

  • Negotiating with the federal government to advocate for changes to the National Housing Strategy that target program funding to residents most in need and secure Toronto’s fair share of funding, as done for the $1.34 billion secured in 2018 to repair 60,000 Toronto Community Housing homes.

Housing Plan - Costing for New Initiatives

The total cost of the initiatives in Ana’s Housing Plan fully-implemented is $48.5 million and will be funded from the City Building Fund.

  • $3.5 million for SPIDER Program
  • $5 million for non-profit and charity shelter employee retention and attraction
  • $5 million for support for residents experiencing gender-based violence
  • $5 million to expand the Dufferin Grove model city-wide
  • $10 million to fight evictions with anti-displacement task-force
  • $10 million to triple the funding for the Rent Bank
  • $10 million to support non-profit and co-op organizations with pre-development activities to build new housing