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Could a new plan to get affordable housing in Toronto 'unstuck' work?

Toronto is set to tackle its affordable housing crisis with a new plan aimed at building 6,000 rental units by investing $350 million in financial incentives for builders. The Rental Supply Housing Program, which will be discussed by the housing committee, proposes funding up to $260,000 per unit to speed up construction.

Mayor Olivia Chow emphasized that this initiative targets those who can't afford typical market housing. The plan includes fast-tracking approvals and aims to boost the capacity of non-profits, co-ops, and Indigenous developers.

Councillor Gord Perks highlighted the need to shift focus from profit-driven housing to meet the needs of low-income and middle-class families. The program also includes a three-year pilot providing $10 million annually to city housing providers, helping them develop future projects.

This initiative is part of a broader strategy to build 65,000 rent-controlled homes by 2030. It requires rent control for 40 years to qualify for incentives. If approved, the plan will be funded initially by the city's capital budget, with hopes of future provincial and federal support.

Experts like Matti Siemiatycki from the University of Toronto's Infrastructure Institute stress the importance of effective implementation to achieve these ambitious goals. The housing committee will decide on the plan's future this Thursday.



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