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



Toronto is considering a bold plan to address its housing crisis by building 6,000 new affordable rental units. The proposed Rental Supply Housing Program would allocate over $350 million to provide financial incentives for builders, offering up to $260,000 per unit. This initiative aims to jumpstart 18 projects currently stalled due to financial difficulties, such as inflation and high interest rates.


Mayor Olivia Chow highlighted the importance of this plan, emphasizing that it would offer secure, affordable housing to low-income and middle-class families. City staff noted that the program would especially benefit non-profits, co-ops, and Indigenous-led developers, sectors that have been underfunded for decades.


The plan also includes a three-year pilot providing $10 million annually to increase the development capacity of city housing providers like the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. Projects will be fast-tracked through the city's approval process to expedite construction.


If approved, the plan will be part of a larger goal to build 65,000 rent-controlled homes by 2030. The financial backing and specific rent controls for at least 40 years aim to make this initiative a success. 


Experts like Matti Siemiatycki from the University of Toronto’s Infrastructure Institute believe this plan's significant funding and collaboration efforts mark a substantial step forward. However, smooth execution will be crucial to turning these plans into reality and addressing Toronto's pressing housing needs. 


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