Toronto Housing Summit

On September 30th, I hosted the Toronto Housing Summit bringing together Canada's Big City Mayors with federal and provincial Minsters of Housing and over 200 housing sector partners including developers, the not-for-profit sector, advocates, tenants and many others. The consensus from the summit was clear, Toronto and cities accross Canada need a new partnership and approach to tackle the the immense homelessness, affordable, and social housing challenges we face. 


At the Housing Summit the Big City Mayors presented a series of recommendations to the Federal and Provincial Governments with strategies to address Canada's housing crisis. They include:

  • Dedicating $12.6 billion of the $20 billion of federal social infrastructure towards meeting our housing challenges
  • Creating a long-term predictable funding strategy for the construction and operation of new and affordable housing units
  • Doubling the the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy to $350 million 
  • New incentives for building new affordable units, such as waiving the GST from construction costs
  • Investing in innovative housing strategies including land trusts and co-housing with flexible funding agreements
  • Earmarking specific funds for an "Indigenous Housing Fund" to tackle the unique housing challenges in our indigenous communities
  • Reviewing the mandate of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to further its role and capacity in implementing a National Housing Strategy

I welcome the federal government's announcement at the summit to release $200 million dollars in innovation funding to come up with new and innovative ways to construct up to 4,000 new affordable housing units across Canada as an important first step and a sign of the direction and cooperative framework we need to build upon.

Toronto, like many other cities across Canada, continues to face persistent challenges of homelessness, a hot housing market, low rental vacancy rates and a lack of new affordable rental supply. The City of Toronto has put forward its own resources and funding incentives to help spur the creation of new affordable housing and to begin to address our housing needs, but we cannot do it alone. The housing challenges we face are complex and require all our government, non-profit, and private partners to work together on innovative and comprehensive solutions. 

Each of us has a role to play and every partner brings to the table important ideas and experiences which will contribute to and improve Canada's National Housing Strategy. For the first time in many years we have consensus across all governments that now is the time to act to address our challenges and that we can no longer delay action. I look forward to continuing to advocate for improved housing conditions for all in our city and will keep you informed as we work together with our partners to tackle our housing challenges.

I have also written an op-ed in the Toronto Star discussing the challenges and solutions surrounding our housing crisis. You can read it by clicking here.

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