Toronto executive committee approves housing plan, council expected to vote next week

Toronto's executive committee has approved a housing plan that aims build 285,000 homes over the next 10 years. Erica Natividad explains how officials plan to reach this goal, and hears reaction from councillors during the meeting Tuesday.

By Quintin Bignell

The City of Toronto’s executive committee has approved a housing plan that aims to build thousands of residences over the next decade.

The housing project was first approved by council in December. On Tuesday, the city’s executive committee gave the green light to its implementation.

“The plan begins the process of updating the city’s regulations so that we can meet the target of building 285,000 homes over the next decade,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie speaking ahead of the committee meeting on Tuesday, describing the plan as “a huge step forward.”

While debating the proposed framework, Willowdale Councillor Lily Cheng questioned the city’s definition of affordability.

“Seven per cent of Ontarians live on minimum wage. That equals about two million residents in Toronto,” Cheng said. “For us to make our minimum wage workers live in the category of people in need is, I think, really disrespectful to their contribution to our economy.”

RELATED: Toronto announces housing plan to hit target of 285,000 new homes by 2031

The city says it can begin working on a number of initiatives within the housing plan before the end of this year. The document calls for the city to enable zoning for multiplexes in all neighbourhoods and a framework to support the growth of community housing.

A new dashboard has also been created for the city’s website. It allows residents to track affordable rental homes, approved, under construction and built homes, and homes demolished and replaced through rental replacement policies.

Deputy Mayor McKelvie says it will give residents more transparency from the city.

“The housing data hub provides an in-depth look at the progress we’re making toward achieving our housing goals,” McKelvie said. The data hub will also inform how many people are waiting for social housing in the city.”

Toronto city council is scheduled to vote on the report on March 29.

With files from Meredith Bond and Mark McAllister of CityNews

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