Toronto, December 14, 2023 – More Neighbours Toronto (MNTO), a leading housing advocacy group, expresses its deep disappointment with the City of Toronto’s proposal to the Federal Housing Accelerator Fund. MNTO is calling on the Federal Housing Minister, Sean Fraser, to reject the city’s submission on the grounds that it fails to meet the urgency and scale required to address Toronto's housing crisis.
"Toronto's proposal to the Housing Accelerator Fund is a clear missed opportunity," said Colleen Bailey, Director of MNTO. "Our city is in the midst of an affordability crisis, and the response we've seen from the city is unambitious and inadequate. We believe Minister Fraser must recognize that Toronto’s submission does not align with the transformative goals of the Fund."
MNTO's concerns stem from the city's proposed enhancements in response to Minister Fraser’s letter dated November 22, 2023. These enhancements, MNTO argues, suggest a complacency with the status quo and a lack of willingness to adopt more aggressive measures seen in other jurisdictions such as Vaughan and Mississauga.
MNTO recommends specific amendments to the city's response, including:
- Directing city staff to work with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to significantly increase height and density permissions near transit stations, in line with British Columbia’s recent policies. MNTO is especially critical of the lack of action from the provincial and municipal governments on increasing density in Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs).
- Proposing zoning amendments for city-wide as-of-right zoning for multiplexes and apartment buildings up to four storeys (height restrictions impose a de facto 3 storey limit in much of the city).
- Revising the "no net new shadow" policy to balance the creation of housing with the impact on shadows in nearby areas.
- Removing minimum parking requirements for all multi-tenant housing across Toronto.
- Addressing restrictions that limit building new apartments near existing underutilized infrastructure like parks and schools.
"As housing advocates, we are disheartened to see Toronto lag behind in a time when bold action is essential," added Pirawin Namasivayam, a volunteer with MNTO. "We urge Minister Fraser to consider our recommendations and push for a proposal that genuinely addresses the dire need for more affordable housing in our city."
"We can fix this housing crisis but our politicians need to be bolder and move faster," said MNTO volunteer Zakerie Farah. "I want to raise a family in this city that I grew up in."
MNTO remains committed to advocating for comprehensive reforms that will enable the construction of multifamily homes across Toronto and ensure that the city is inclusive and accessible to all who dream of building their lives here.
For more information, please contact:
Eric Lombardi, President
More Neighbours Toronto
About More Neighbours Toronto
More Neighbours Toronto is a volunteer-only organization of housing advocates committed to building more multifamily homes of all kinds in Toronto. The organization advocates for reforms to increase the city’s capacity for homebuilding and counterbalances the anti-housing agenda that has dominated local politics, exacerbating the housing affordability crisis.