On Thursday, Mayor Olivia Chow together with the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister, and the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, announced the allocation of $471 million in funding through the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), which will result in achieving an additional 11,780 homes in Toronto on top of what has already been projected over the next three years. The funding will accelerate City of Toronto efforts to make a generational transformation of Toronto’s housing system and increase housing affordability for residents.
HAF is delivered by the Government of Canada, through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), as part of the National Housing Strategy. HAF aims to achieve 100,000 new homes across Canada over the next three years. These homes include net new Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI), affordable and market rental homes located within mixed-income, mixed-use and transit-oriented communities.
We’ll be able to build more affordable housing, make it easier and faster to get approvals, allow for more density and more types of homes. pic.twitter.com/JvRdD9fbuw
— Mayor Olivia Chow (@MayorOliviaChow) December 21, 2023
With this financial support, the City can increase the supply of new rental homes, protect existing rental homes and people who rent as well as revitalize neighbourhoods across Toronto. The funding will also help enhance the City’s capacity to accelerate the review and approval of new homes by continuing to streamline processes and introduce new technology.
Housing Accelerator Fund Application
The City submitted its HAF application to CMHC in June and followed up with a revised submission in August. The City’s HAF application outlines eight initiatives focused on creating more affordable housing faster in neighbourhoods across Toronto that include:
1. Transforming organizational structures, processes and technology used to deliver development review and increasing capacity to expedite the approval of development applications.
2. Revitalizing Toronto Community Housing buildings and creating net new RGI and affordable rental homes.
3. Protecting rental homes, supporting people who rent and reducing housing speculation.
4. Developing City-owned land and expediting delivery of new, permanently affordable rental homes within transit-oriented and complete communities.
5. Transforming Toronto’s Waterfront as a catalyst for support of social, economic and cultural growth.
6. Implementing a new Rental Housing Supply Incentives program.
7. Expanding missing middle housing options and increasing project certainty.
8. Optimizing land use and simplifying the planning approvals process to increase purpose-built rental supply in apartment neighbourhood zones.
In addition to scaling up new housing supply, federal HAF investments will enable the City to expand the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) program, which has been successful in supporting the not-for-profit housing sector to acquire and convert market rental properties into permanently affordable rental homes for lower- and moderate-income residents.
HousingTO Action Plan
HAF supports the implementation of the City’s HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan (HousingTO Action Plan) that targets 65,000 new rent-controlled homes across the city by 2030 including 6,500 RGI homes and 18,000 supportive homes with a focus on helping people exit homelessness. HAF investments will provide Toronto with a predictable funding stream over the next three years, which is pivotal to unlocking projects and accelerating the delivery of new homes, particularly affordable rental homes near transit. In addition, this funding will contribute towards the federal government’s share of funding, estimated at $500 to $800 million annually, to achieve the City’s 65,000 rent-controlled homes target.
The announcement took place at 1555-1575 Queen St. E., a Toronto Community Housing site undergoing revitalization where new affordable, market rental and RGI housing will be created, in addition to the replacement of RGI units. The City provided land and financial incentives for this project.
More information about the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan is available on the City’s website: www.toronto.ca/housingto-2020-
Information on the “Federal Housing Accelerator Fund – Supporting Generational Transformation of Toronto’s Housing System” report is also available on the City’s website: https://secure.toronto.ca/coun
“Torontonians are grateful to the Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Fraser for their $471 million investment in building more housing, quickly, in our city. Toronto is ready to build. We’ve set a new goal of building 65,000 rent-controlled homes, and we’re committed to the provincial target of 285,000 homes by 2031. Housing Accelerator Fund investments are essential to addressing the housing crisis and meeting these targets. Everyone deserves an affordable roof over their heads, and today’s announcement helps make that a reality.”
– Mayor Olivia Chow
“Like so many cities across Canada, Toronto needs more homes, and fast. That’s why we’re working with mayors across the country to cut red tape and change the way we build housing. Today’s announcement with Toronto will help build more homes, faster, so that every Canadian has a good place to call their own.”
– The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“Today’s announcement will help fast track 11,780 homes for Torontonians in the next three years and tens of thousands homes over the next decade. By working with cities, mayors, and all levels of government, we are helping to get more homes built for Canadians at prices they can afford.”
— The Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
“The Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) supports the implementation of the City’s HousingTO Action Plan that targets 65,000 new rent-controlled homes across the city by 2030. It will allow us to effectively respond to the growing and urgent need for affordable and supportive housing for people in Toronto. HAF represents the kind of investments and partnerships required from all orders of government to deliver more affordable housing as quickly as possible.”
– Gord Perks (Parkdale-High Park), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee
SOURCE City of Toronto