Toronto to receive $60 million in development-charge rebates
|Toronto Star 26 Apr 2018 at 19:54|
Toronto will receive nearly half of the $125 million in development charge rebates the province announced as part of its Fair Housing Policy last April.
Housing Minister Peter Milczyn, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, will announce Friday that the city will get $60 million over the next five years to encourage developers to build accessible rentals in walkable neighbourhoods near public transit.
He will also name the companies that have been selected to build 2,150 homes on two vacant provincial plots in the West Don Lands and near Grenville and Grosvenor streets downtown. Thirty per cent of those new homes will be affordable units.
Dream, Tricon and Kilmer Group have been selected to build 1,450 homes in six mid-rise buildings, along with a community hub and retail space in the West Don Lands. Another 700 rental units, a daycare and retail space will be part of two high-rises being developed by Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (CREIT) and Greenwin Inc. at the downtown site.
Toronto’s share of the money will “help encourage the development of more rental housing and make it easier for newcomers, growing families, downsizing seniors, and everyone looking for an apartment, to rent,” said a statement from Milczyn, who is also the Ontario minister responsible for poverty-reduction strategy.
“These mixed-income communities will make life better for families in Toronto and provide great community services, including creating a new 10,000-sq.-ft. daycare in the downtown core,” he said.
Occupancy dates for the new buildings were not yet available.
The affordable units in the provincial land developments will include a range of rent categories. Half of the 30 per cent of the new homes that are affordable units will be between 90- and 100 per cent of average market rent; 40 per cent will be priced between 70- and 80 per cent per cent of average market rent, and 10 per cent of the homes will be at 40 per cent of market rent. Average market rent is calculated on rent-controlled units.
Details of a third development on surplus government land in the Albion Rd. and Islington Ave. area are not part of Friday’s announcement.
The development-charge rebates are a separate program that will go to other projects. Toronto’s first instalment will flow this year with subsequent funds divided evenly across the five years.
Other municipalities will receive their rebates in varying increments. Other Toronto-area communities in line for the development charge funds include Mississauga, which will get $13.4 million; Brampton with $5 million; Markham with $2.9 million and Richmond Hill, which has been allocated $2.3 million.
In Toronto, affordable housing units are those that rent for less than the average market price. In central Toronto, the cost to rent a private one-bedroom apartment last year was $1,498 a month, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Greater Toronto Area was $1,191.
Toronto’s vacancy rate hit a 16-year low last year, at about one per cent.
Half of Ontario’s rental households are in Toronto. Tenants have a median income of about $37,000, less than half of the $82,000 median income of homeowners, according to information from the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario.