Conservatives stand in the way of inclusionary zoning proceeding in Toronto
TORONTO – On Thursday, the Ontario NDP Housing critic MPP Jessica Bell slammed the Ontario government for delaying affordable and below-market housing in Toronto.
At a press conference held beside a transit station zoned for inclusionary zoning, Bell was joined by affordable housing and poverty advocates to call out the Ford government for failing to approve a single one of the 104 inclusionary zoning areas the City of Toronto asked it to greenlight in 2021.
The City of Toronto approved its inclusionary zoning law after Ontario passed legislation enabling municipalities to do so. The law requires developers to build some affordable housing in developments near transit stations. Toronto submitted the 104 requests to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final sign-off, but the Ministry has not approved a single one.
“Toronto is one of the most expensive cities in the world. So many people in this city are struggling to find affordable housing. Rents are skyrocketing, and too many people are being pushed out of the market,” Bell said.
“Requiring developers to include a percentage of homes just below market rates in new developments is an effective and proven way to ensure developers to do their part in creating housing for low and middle-income earners, from students to paramedics.
“It’s shocking and it’s wrong that the Ford Conservatives are standing in the way of the City’s request to build affordable housing. The Ontario government should be a leader in solving the housing affordability crisis, not a barrier to creating affordable units.”
The Ontario NDP has been calling on the government to pass urgent measures to address the housing crisis, including stabilizing rents between tenants, changing zoning rules to allow for more multi-unit homes in all neighbourhoods, allowing municipalities to shift property taxes onto properties worth more than $2 million and committing to building at least 99,000 affordable housing and supportive housing units.
Serena Purdy, Chair of Friends of Kensington Market:
"As long as this city continues to try to compromise with the very people profiting from Toronto's housing crisis, the crisis will continue. We need stronger inclusionary zoning instruments, and we need them 20 years ago. We do not need more delays."
Siu Mee Chen, Executive Director of Street Haven:
“Shelters have unfortunately become a part of the social safety net. The reasons driving the use of shelters have changed over time, with housing affordability being the main reason that nearly 30% of our clients end up in Street Haven’s two shelter programs. Having more access to affordable housing will ensure that the majority of our clients will be able to live a more independent life and continue to move towards greater empowerment including employment and income security.”
Alejandra Ruiz- Vargas, Ontario ACORN Leader:
"The Ford government and the Housing Minister are killing about 3000 new affordable housing units per year that would have been created through Inclusionary Zoning (IZ). They are stalling IZ, throwing up obstacles in the Toronto Planning Process. The community needs affordable housing, not more obstacles to the creation of affordable housing."