Following a Spring 2019 Call for Applications, the Executive Director of the Housing Secretariat at the City of Toronto is recommending a host of financial incentives for affordable housing projects planned by the private sector and non-profit developers. Known as the Open Door Program, the initiative looks to incentivize 8 affordable housing developments by waiving development charges and other fees, transferring some of the financial risk away from the developer. A vote on the motion will take place during an October, 2019 City Council meeting.

Cranes on the Toronto Skyline, image by Forum contributor Razz

In addition to the funding to be provided for the 8 projects, 5 projects would be selected for assistance with the pre-development phase, giving these projects a clearer path towards funding in next year's Call for Applications. 

If approved, $12 million from the City’s Development Charges Reserve Fund and roughly $38 million in financial incentives will be allocated to allow for the construction of 651 affordable homes, a combined average of $58,850 in incentives per home.

A breakdown of the funding that would be allocated, figures via the City of Toronto

The Open Door Program has been running since 2016 and has since approved 6,694 affordable homes. 2019 recommended projects include 591 Finch Ave West, which would see the construction of 159 affordable rental units for seniors. The largest of the projects recommended is 1236 Birchmount, which would include 220 affordable homes. Many of the projects have not yet submitted any kind of formal planning application for construction. Should the motion to fund the projects pass at Council next month, we would start to see the first stages of the planning process begin.

Rendering of 591 Finch West, image obtained via submission to the City of Toronto

What do you think about the projects tabled for Open Door Program funding. Leave a comment below to get in on the discussion.

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