From the loss of affordable rental units to new developments and the inability of almost anyone to buy a home within the city, Toronto is struggling to find room for its growing population to live.
Inclusive zoning policies, described by the city as “a land-use planning tool,” essentially require all developers to include a certain number of affordable housing units within each new building they build.
More than 800 cities throughout North America already have inclusive zoning policies, according to city planners, but Toronto lags behind, even though our housing affordability levels reach what analysts say are now levels. of crisis. Fortunately, this could change soon.
Ontario’s liberal government only granted municipalities the authority to implement their own inclusion zoning policies in April 2018, but the amended Planning Law of the province requires that an evaluation report be prepared.
A successful motion presented yesterday to the Toronto Housing and Planning Committee called “Policy Instructions for the Official Inclusive Inclusion Plan” recommends that the council allow city planning staff to consult, including open door meetings with key stakeholders, to obtain comments and opinions “regarding the proposed plan.
The staff will then report the findings of their consultation and, if everything looks good, proceed to create Toronto’s own inclusive zoning framework, but only if the City Council approves the evaluation process on June 18.
They are likely to do so, given the stated goal of Mayor John Tory to increase affordable housing in the city.
Tory’s Housing Now initiative, which promises 40,000 new affordable rental units over the next 12 years, in addition to funds from the federal government’s National Housing Strategy, will only come so far, say experts in the field.
The city framework, as presented now, would only apply to development projects of more than 100 units in and around downtown Toronto (or more than 140 units in other regions).
Buildings in “strong market areas” should be composed of 20 percent affordable housing, while those in “moderate market areas” should have 10 percent (or as little as 2.5 percent in rental projects) specially designed).
With the community housing projects in poor condition throughout the city, the lack of housing on the rise and the population of GTA is expected to reach 9.7 million in 2041, something has to give.
Inclusive zoning may not solve all of Toronto’s housing problems, but it is a logical start.