Jennifer Keesmaat puts ambitious affordable housing target at heart of mayoral campaign


    Jennifer Keesmaat is vowing to construct 100,000 affordable housing items in Toronto over the subsequent decade, whereas criticizing Mayor John Tory’s housing plans as the established order.

    The previous chief planner and last-minute entrance into this fall’s mayoral race made that announcement at a Tuesday morning campaign occasion on the rooftop of a downtown co-op constructing. At one level, Keesmaat posed a query to the 47 per cent of Torontonians who lease their properties.

    “Within the final 4 years, beneath John Tory, has housing affordability gotten higher for your loved ones? Or worse?” mentioned Keesmaat.

    Many individuals, she famous, aren’t even capable of lease within the metropolis anymore, and after being “shut out” of Toronto’s skyrocketing actual property market, they’re as an alternative taking their abilities elsewhere. 

    Earlier this yr, a metropolis report discovered lease costs in purpose-built rental items have soared to a 15-year excessive, whereas emptiness charges at the moment are the bottom they have been in 16 years. In the meantime, tens of hundreds stay on a wait listing for social housing, whereas some neighborhood teams have warned the town’s very definition of “affordable housing” — at or under the typical market lease — wants to alter.

    Keesmaat mentioned the town is now at a “disaster level” in terms of this subject.

    The plan to construct 100,000 new items hinges on unlocking city-owned land to construct on, whereas additionally utilizing funding from the federal authorities’s nationwide housing technique to construct and subsidize purpose-built rental buildings.

    She mentioned her workforce will launch the prices of the plan within the coming weeks.

    Tory says he has confirmed report on housing

    Keesmaat additionally took some pictures at Tory, saying renters want change at metropolis corridor and accusing the mayor of taking a “timid” and “reactive” method to growing affordable housing.

    “Mr. Tory has failed to make use of the instruments out there to him to construct extra purpose-built rental,” she mentioned.

    “With a metropolis as nice as Toronto, this is not adequate.”

    Tory’s campaign fired again, issuing a press release saying he is the one candidate with a report of really constructing affordable housing, citing the approval of some 4,000 items through the previous 4 years.

    “I am decided to do all the things we will to construct extra affordable housing in Toronto and we have to do it a lot sooner,” Tory mentioned in a press release.

    “I am proud of the progress we’ve got made this time period approving and constructing affordable housing and we’re simply getting began.”

    The assertion factors out that in Keesmaat’s temporary stint with a company targeted on construct affordable housing in Toronto and Vancouver, no initiatives have been authorized.



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