Toronto council approves plan to build up to 3,700 affordable rental units on City-owned lands

WATCH ABOVE: The Housing Now plan championed by Mayor John Tory has been passed by city council. But despite criticism saying it doesn't have enough affordable housing units, the majority of council didn't budge on adding any more. Matthew Bingley reports.

Toronto city council has approved a plan to build nearly 10,000 new residential units, with up to 3,700 affordable rental units, on city-owned lands.

City staff have identified 11 sites of surplus land across Toronto as locations for additional affordable housing units to be built.

Affordable housing in Toronto the focus of executive committee meeting

A staff report said one-third of the new builds, approximately 3,700 units, will be reserved for affordable housing at 80 per cent of average market rent.

However, housing advocacy groups say the number of affordable units being made available is too low and the market rent will be out of reach for many low and moderate income tenants.

VIDEO: Advocacy group calls for City of Toronto to declare homelessness emergency

Tory has pledged to build 40,000 affordable housing units over 12 years.

Also on the city council agenda was a motion to declare a state of emergency on homelessness in Toronto, which was ultimately rejected by council.

Hidden camera footage reveals conditions inside Toronto’s 24-hour respite centres

Housing advocates released hidden camera footage of two of the city’s 24-hour respite centres and one warming centre last week illustrating a growing housing and shelter crisis.

In a joint letter to Toronto’s planning and housing committee, councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam and Gord Perks said four homeless deaths so far this year can be attributed to the severe lack of affordable housing, insufficient supportive and transitional housing and mental health services, and shelter overcrowding.

— With files from Nick Westoll

VIDEO: Toronto advocates, councillors call on City to declare homelessness ‘state of emergency’

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