This month, I criticized the Ford government for delaying the construction of affordable housing in Toronto in Question Period.
The government has not approved any of the 104 inclusionary zoning areas the City of Toronto has asked the government to greenlight.
Toronto’s inclusionary zoning law requires developers to build some affordable housing in developments near transit stations. Specifically, new condominiums located around transit stations will be required to set aside five to 10 per cent of the development as affordable housing beginning in 2022, ramping up to eight to 22 per cent by 2030. All affordable units would remain affordable for 99 years.
Requiring developers to include a percentage of affordable homes in new developments is an effective and proven way for developers to do their part in creating housing for low and middle-income earners, from students to paramedics.
The City of Toronto approved its inclusionary zoning law in 2021, after Ontario passed legislation enabling municipalities to do so.
Toronto has approved 104 areas in the city where inclusionary zoning will apply, and has submitted these 104 requests to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for final sign-off. The ministry has not approved a single request.
If the Minister doesn’t approve these requests, Toronto’s inclusionary zoning law will not come into force as scheduled on September 18, just three days away.
Ontario needs to be a leader in solving the housing affordability crisis, not a barrier. What is the Minister waiting for?