Toronto’s new inclusionary zoning policy went to Planning and Housing Committee this week. Agenda item, here. The recommendations were approved, which means that the item will move onto City Council next month for final approval.
Here’s a summary of some what is being proposed (though keep in mind that I am not a planner and you should probably do your own due diligence if you’re looking to buy land and/or develop here):
- IZ to come into force next year in 2022.
- IZ to only apply on projects with 100 or more residential units.
- Three distinct market areas across the City with differing set aside rates (see below charts). This strategy acknowledges the fact that you generally need submarkets with expensive housing and rising prices to be able to absorb the financial burden of the affordable housing units. I’ve written a lot about this dynamic on the blog. Relevant posts, here.
- It’s in the chart, but it’s perhaps worth repeating: Purpose-built rental projects will not be required to deliver any affordable housing units at the outset of this policy. This is important to note because the margins on purpose-built rentals are razor thin.
- The set aside rates are planned to increase to 8-22% by 2030.
- The affordable units will need to remain affordable for 99 years. And the rents and prices are to be geared toward low and moderate income households, which are currently defined as those earning between $32,000 and $92,000.
- Clear transition period for the development industry.
- Ongoing monitoring of the policy to make sure it doesn’t suck.