City of Toronto issues Open Door program call for applications to support building new affordable rental housing

The City of Toronto has released the 2020 Call for Applications for the Open Door program. The program provides an opportunity for private, co-op and non-profit affordable housing organizations to apply for support from the City to create affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income households in Toronto.

The Open Door program encourages private, co-op and non-profit housing organizations to develop affordable housing by providing successful applicants with a range of financial contributions, which could include an exemption of fees, charges or property tax as well as capital funding. Successful Open Door applications also benefit from the Open Door Planning Service which fast-tracks approvals.

The 2020 Open Door application is similar to previous years, but there are changes aimed at providing greater affordable housing benefits. These changes include:

  • The minimum affordability period of 40 years
  • A minimum of 50 per cent of the total buildable gross floor area must now be affordable housing
  • Only electronic submissions will be accepted by the City

The application and full program details are available online: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/community-partners/affordable-housing-partners/open-requests-for-proposals/.

Key dates in the application process are:

  • October 15, 10:30 a.m. – Online information session
  • October 26, 4:30 p.m. – Last day to submit written questions
  • November 17, 4:30 p.m. – Deadline to submit applications
  • January 2021 – Staff report to Planning and Housing Committee and City Council with recommended projects

The Open Door program was first approved by Council in 2016. To date it has invested $739 million of City financial contributions in affordable housing projects, supporting the creation of more than 8,960 new homes across Toronto. The Open Door program is part of the City’s 10-year housing action plan, HousingTO 2020-2030, which targets assisting more than 341,000 households across the housing spectrum, with actions that include the approval of 40,000 new affordable rental homes.

Quotes:

“We know it is critical for the future of our rapidly growing city that people from all income levels have a place to call home. We are committed to building more affordable housing at a faster pace and working with the private and non-profit housing sectors to develop a range of housing opportunities is just one more way we are making this happen.”

– Mayor John Tory

“The City continues to work hard in its efforts to create more affordable housing. I have always maintained that we must work collaboratively to be successful.  In having the Open Door program in place we support private and non-profit affordable housing organizations as they develop affordable rental homes which is a key part of the success of the Housing TO Action Plan.  We need these partnerships and this collaboration to deliver long-term solutions and we are all a part of this process.”

– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Ward 9 Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee