Toronto Will Soon Have Access To More Stable Rental Housing Options

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Minister Hussen and John Tory at the construction site. Pic: Ahmed Hussen

Toronto: Residents of Toronto will soon have access to more stable rental housing options that are affordable to the middle-class, and those working hard to join it – thanks to investments made by the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has announced that the federal government is financing $73 million toward the construction of 233 residential rental homes, including 70 affordable homes, located at 5365 Dundas Street West.

John Tory, Mayor of the City of Toronto, also announced $5.5 million in capital grants for development as part of the City’s Open Door Affordable Housing Program to support the delivery of 50 of the affordable homes.

The City is also providing approximately $2.1 million in financial incentives including exemption of development fees and charges and property taxes for this development.

The developer Concert Properties will be building an additional 20 affordable homes beyond those funded by the Open Door Affordable Housing Program for a total of 70 affordable homes in the development.

This development is receiving financing through the Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a National Housing Strategy program delivered by CMHC that supports rental housing construction projects.

The program encourages a stable supply of rental housing for middle-class families in expensive housing markets.

Concert Properties has delivered nearly 12,000 rental, condominium and senior homes across Canada including almost 20% of the new purpose-built high-rise residential rental inventory in the City of Toronto over the last 15 years.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister responsible for CMHC, said: “Canada’s middle class and those looking to join them will benefit from the construction of new rental housing that includes 70 affordable units. Our Government is taking action to increase the supply of new rental developments, providing housing options that are closer to services hardworking Canadian families need and providing more options for renters in the City of Toronto”

Mayor Tory said: “Our city has been committed to increase the supply of affordable housing in Toronto, it has been a top priority for me as Mayor of this city. Today’s announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to providing families and individuals safe, supportive and affordable homes. I want to thank the Federal government and Concert Properties for being partners with us on this project. This is another example of what can be achieved when we work together to address the needs of a growing city like Toronto.”

Brian McCauley, President & CEO, Concert Properties, said: “Concert was founded three decades ago with an initial mandate to provide assured and affordable rental housing. Social sustainability is a pillar that frames the way Concert moves toward the future, and it includes the creation of affordable, accessible suites that will help build strong, lasting communities.”

• 50 of the development’s suites will have below-market rental rates in the City of Toronto through the City’s Open Door Affordable Housing Program. The additional 20 homes will have rents guaranteed at or below 30% of median household income in the City of Toronto.

• The development is the construction of a 21-story mixed-use building with 233 residential homes and ground-floor retail space. The residential homes range from studios to 3-bedrooms.

• Construction commenced in summer 2019 and substantial completion is expected by the summer of 2022.

• The development will include a series of interconnected open spaces and parks for both residents and visitors.

• The development will include an expansive, open-concept lobby lounge with seating and gathering spaces, a study area, and billiards table that will act as a social hub for the building. At least 54 suites will meet or exceed provincial accessibility requirements, including two universal suites where every room is accessible to those with disabilities and two adaptable suites that can be readily turned into universal suites.

• The Kip District — which the development is part of — won master-planned community of the year at the National Association of Homebuilders Awards in 2015.

• The development is designed to achieve energy-efficiency savings of 25.5% and reduced greenhouse gas emissions of 34.2% relative to the 2015 Model Buildings Codes.

• As of 2019, the rental market vacancy rate in Toronto was 1.5%. The rental market is an important housing option for approximately 30% of Canadians. In Toronto over 50% of households are renters.

• The RCFi, a National Housing Strategy (NHS) initiative delivered by CMHC, supports rental housing construction projects to encourage a stable supply of rental housing across the country for middle-class households struggling in expensive housing markets.

• Launched in April 2017, the RCFi has generated a lot of interest and a high number of quality applications. This is why, through Budget 2018, the Government increased the amount of low-cost loans provided by this initiative from $2.5 billion to $3.75 billion and further increased to $13.75 billion with budget 2019. In total, the RCFi will encourage the construction of 42,500 rental housing suites across Canada.

• Low-cost loans are available to borrowers who want to build purpose-built rental housing in Canada in response to demonstrated community need.

• Under the Investing in Canada plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

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