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Mitzie Hunter creating new city affordable housing corporation to deliver more new affordable housing, more quickly than proposals of any other candidates
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Thousands of purpose-built below-market rate rental apartments and affordable ownership units to be built on city-owned land, mayoral candidate says
Toronto – Mitzie Hunter, mayoral candidate, will create a new city-owned affordable housing corporation to deliver more new affordable housing, more quickly.
The new corporation will be charged with building thousands of purpose-built, below-market rate rental apartments and affordable ownership units on city-owned land.
“We are in a housing crisis and that’s why we need to unlock public lands for affordable housing,” says Hunter.
“We need to do things differently. We need to Fix the Six. That means we need more affordable housing, more quickly. It starts with leveraging City properties to develop as much affordable housing as possible. We can control the delivery of affordable homes for real results.”
Hunter has issued a five-point plan to deliver more affordable housing, more quickly.This plan will:
The centrepiece of Hunters plan is a new Toronto Affordable Housing Corporation (TAHC). In its first phase, which is projected to last six years, the TAHC will:
In developing her plan, Hunter drew on her experience as CAO of Toronto Community Housing prior to being MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood and a senior cabinet minister.
“We are in a housing crisis,” says Hunter. “Buying a home in Toronto is now out of reach for all but the wealthiest. We need to fix this.
“But that won’t happen with the same faces from the same places, unsuccessfully doing the same things they have always done, with a complete lack of results for the people of this city.
The other leading candidates who have released housing plans all continue the failed status quo approach. Their buildings are all too big for most neighbourhoods. The majority of units they create are market rentals or unaffordable condos. The majority ofunits are one bedroom and not fit for families and nobody offers anything to people looking to buy an affordable home.
In contrast, Hunter’s plan builds more affordable housing units for renters and buyers alike than any other plan in family friendly buildings that can fit into every part of the city.
“The only way out of this mess is to add more affordable housing to meet demand and lower price escalation for renters and buyers alike. My plan does this.”
Hunter’s housing plan is the most detailed, practical and comprehensive plan issued by any mayoral candidate. It is fully costed and part of her budget plan to be issued before voting begins in June.
“We can do this, we must do it, and if we are to have a city that works for everyone, everywhere, we must grow the supply of affordable housing for both renters and buyers. Let's grab control of the levers as a city and get it done. My plan does this.”-30-
Remarks by Mitzie Hunter announcing affordable housing policy, May 9, 2023:
• Today I am announcing more details about one of the main elements of my plan which is creating a Toronto Affordable Housing Corporation.
• We will use this new corporation as a tool to unlock public lands for affordable housing.
• On my first day as Mayor, I will issue a proclamation stating that “there is no such thing as surplus City land.”
• I will do this to make it clear to all that there is no greater priority than leveraging City properties to develop as much affordable housing as possible.
• And we have a lot to work with. The City owns over 8,400 propertiesacross 28,000 acres of land.
• We can control the delivery of affordable homes for real results.
• This new Toronto Affordable Housing Corporation will be responsible for the development on public land of purpose-built, below-market rate rental apartments and affordable ownership units.
• In its first phase which is projected to last six years the TAHC will build 108 new developments on City owned land.
• These will be between 10 and 20 storeys so they can be suitable for small and medium sized lots in every part of the City.
• In Phase One it will have a target of delivering nearly 22,700 units providing housing for about 53,650 people.
• My plan will deliver 11,236 affordable rental units. This is the most of any currently announced plan including Housing Now.
• Every other candidate believes a majority of the units they propose must be full market rate rentals or full market price condos. That is the failed approach that we know has not and cannot work.
• Ana Bailao has announced a plan that is 20 per cent affordable housing.
• Yesterday Olivia Chow announced a plan that was 30 per centaffordable housing.
• Brad Bradford called for 33 per cent affordable housing.
• Josh Matlow called for 45 per cent affordable housing.
• Only my plan has a majority of units that are affordable. That means 77 per cent of the units I propose are affordable rental units or affordable home ownership units.
• I am the only candidate who will provide affordable ownership opportunities by building more than 6,100 “shared equity” purchase units. This is nearly 30 per cent of all the units I propose to build.
• These shared equity units will be sold at 50 per cent of market value… with 50 per cent retained by the TAHC.
• When a unit is re-sold, 50 per cent of the appreciated value is retained by the TAHC to reinvest in future projects.
• It is not only a way to get people in the housing market, it is a way to make a market with rising prices help to fund more affordable housing.
• The funds from selling these units and the rents from the rental units will be enough to cover all expenses, and this is important, by the end of Phase One the total retained earnings of TAHC will be greater than the original City contributions and the amount financed through CMHC.
• This surplus will allow the TAHC to invest in more affordable housing projects on an on-going basis.
• In contrast, the other candidates for mayor will all build less affordable housing and with the plans of Anna Bailao and Brad Bradford they create enormous profit for developers but do not create any on-going ability for the City to fund new projects going forward.
• Ana Bailao and Brad Bradford believe in the same failed private-developer-led approach that is Housing Now. That is not good enough.
• It is not good enough because it has not worked so far. Since being announced in January 2019 it has delivered precisely zero units of housing.
• There is absolutely no reason to believe – especially in the current interest rate climate -- that privately financed projects will proceed any time soon. The numbers simply do not work for the developers.
• Former Councillor Bailao worked for a large developer and Councillor Bradford is very familiar with that industry. They both know the challenges that exist.
• Another big problem is that many of the condos that get built with their approach end up being bought by condo investors who rent them as unaffordable non-rent-controlled units.
• We know this because this is exactly what has been happening for the past 10 to 20 years.
• Finally, their approach does nothing to help people BUY affordable units
• And under their approach, City-ownership ends. The land is never again an asset that the City can use, improve, borrow against.
• Nothing. Why? It has been privatized.
• And the small number of affordable units that we get are not even permanent. There is often a time limit on how long they remain affordable.
• The TAHC keeps the majority of units and all of the land owned by the City.
• The proposals of Olivia Chow and Josh Matlow also keep land in the City’s hands.
• But in far too many ways they fall into the same traps as Bailao and Bradford do.
• Like Ana and Brad, Olivia and Josh will build building where the majority of units – 60 per cent -- are small one bedroom boxes and these are usually in very tall buildings.
• Councillor Matlow’s plan calls for 500 units which means a building of at least 40 storeys.
• Their plans are not good enough because:
• Only a minority of units created are affordable.
• Both Josh and Olivia are both proposing plans with a majority of their units being “market rent” units which… because they are market rent will be unaffordable for most people. My plan has less than one-quarter market rent units.
• Their approach does nothing to help people BUY affordable units.
• And their plans are majority single units unsuited for families.
• Finally, their approach does nothing to help people BUY affordable units.
• And with all due respect to Olivia Chow, and I do respect her, it has been reported that Olivia’s plan depends on $300 million from the federal government. But it is not clear that her proposal qualifies.
• To qualify for the CMHC Funding a proposal has to increase the supply of Housing in the municipality by 10%. We checked when planning our proposal.
• And it is not obvious that Olivia’s eight-year plan meets the conditions.
• As for Mark Saunders, it remains unclear what he is proposing when it comes to affordable housing.
• In contrast, I am crystal clear.
• I will deliver, more… quicker, than other candidates.
We need to Fix the Six, so here are six reasons why my plan delivers, and the other candidates fail to deliver:
• We have to do things differently, same old same old isn't working everyone knows that. Let's choose to do better.