The City of Toronto has launched the 2021 Annual Call for Applications for the Open Door Affordable Rental Housing Program (“Open Door Program”). The Open Door Program provides an opportunity for non-profit, co-operative and private sector housing organizations to apply for financial support from the City to create new affordable rental homes for low-and-moderate-income households across Toronto.
The Open Door Program supports affordable housing developments by providing successful housing organizations with a range of financial incentives and contributions including capital funding and relief from development charges, planning and building application fees, parkland levies and municipal property taxes.
Applicants can apply to receive both capital funding and incentives, or incentives only. This year, up to 10 million dollars in capital funding is available. Successful Open Door Program projects also benefit from expedited development application reviews and approvals.
The 2021 Open Door Call for Applications is similar to previous years, with key program terms being:
• Housing affordability must be maintained for a minimum of 40 years
• A target minimum of 30 per cent of the total residential gross floor area in a development for affordable rental housing
• Affordable units must have rents at no more than 100 per cent Average Market Rent (AMR)
• City housing benefits must be accepted for a minimum of 20 per cent of the affordable units to deepen affordability for eligible households, subject to available funding
To help advance the City’s commitment to truth, justice and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, this year – and for the first time – 20 per cent of the total available capital funding under the Open Door Program will be set aside for Indigenous housing projects. The City’s Indigenous housing partner, Miziwe Biik Development Corporation (MBDC), will review and assess Indigenous applications.
Through the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan and co-developed with Indigenous partners, the City has set target of 5,200 new supportive and affordable homes approvals for Indigenous communities to be delivered by Indigenous organizations. In October, City Council approved entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with Miziwe Biik Development Corporation (MBDC) to support the delivery of these homes: https://www.toronto.ca/news/ci
Key dates in the 2021 Open Door Call for Applications process are:
• Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 1 p.m. – Online information session
• Thursday, February 3, 2022 – Last day to submit written questions
• Thursday, February 24, 2022 at noon – Deadline to submit applications
A staff report from the City’s Housing Secretariat will recommend successful applications to the Planning and Housing Committee and City Council as soon as evaluations are complete.
The Open Door Program was first approved by Council in 2016 and the Call for Applications has taken place annually since 2017. Through the last four application calls 2,526 new affordable rental homes have been approved.
The Open Door Program is part of the City’s 10-year housing action plan, HousingTO 2020-2030, which targets assisting more than 341,000 households across the housing spectrum, with actions that include the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes.
“The Open Door program is an important opportunity for the City to expedite the development of a range of housing opportunities. We are committed to building more affordable housing at a faster pace and working with the private and non-profit housing sectors to make this happen.”
– Mayor John Tory
“In order for the City to achieve the goals of the HousingTO Action Plan we must continue to work collaboratively to be successful. Having the Open Door program in place supports private and non-profit affordable housing organizations as they develop affordable rental homes, which is a key part building an inclusive city where everyone can live and thrive.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Ward 9 Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
SOURCE City of Toronto