Mayor John Tory is pledging to tackle Toronto’s housing affordability challenge as the centrepiece of a second term in office if he is re-elected this fall.
Tory is promising to establish a city hall standing committee on housing that will have centralized responsibility for a broad range of housing issues, from development and affordable housing to the shelter system.
In a campaign-style speech on Monday to the Scarborough Business Association, a copy of which was obtained by the Star, the mayor will outline plans to increase Toronto’s affordable housing targets, particularly rental housing.
Although the city has expanded its shelter system, the beds are increasingly being used by residents who simply can’t find an affordable place to live, says Tory.
“There are many people in Toronto … whose children can’t afford to rent an apartment. And there are young families who have to consider moving outside of Toronto to be able to afford the lives they want to have,” he says.
In his speech, Tory also promises to restructure city staff to ensure there’s a centralized, co-ordinated approach among the various divisions that develop and administer housing, including agencies such as Toronto Community Housing, the Affordable Housing Office, CreateTO, Real Estate Services and the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration.