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City warns its long-awaited housing plan is ‘at high risk’ in latest report

In Bill 23
Mar 15th, 2023
The ability to deal with the growing housing crisis will be impacted by the lost revenues resulting from the province’s Bill 23, says new report. From the Toronto Star

Toronto has released details of its long-awaited plan to deal with the housing crisis, but warned that its ability to deliver the program is “at high risk” unless Ontario reimburses it for hundreds of millions of dollars in development charges removed by provincial legislation.

The report released Tuesday doesn’t make new recommendations about how to tackle the housing crunch. Instead, it recommends staff provide annual updates on the city’s Housing Action Plan and progress made on the Ontario government’s goal of building 285,000 new homes over the next decade.

However, according to the report, staff expect to deliver potentially contentious recommendations on legalizing multiplexes of up to four units in neighbourhoods citywide next month, well before the next mayoral election.

In the meantime, the city will begin immediately rolling out measures like publishing data on the health of Toronto’s housing system, producing a public dashboard to track affordable rental supply and establishing an advisory committee on the right to adequate housing. The report will be debated at council’s executive committee next Tuesday.

Looming over the report is the financial impact of Ontario’s Bill 23, which reduces or freezes the fees cities charge developers. The legislation has been a sore spot for Ontario municipalities, which have argued it will leave huge holes in their budgets. Toronto city staff estimate it will cost the municipal government about $1.2 billion in forgone revenues over the next decade.

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