Item - 2022.PH35.20

Tracking Status

  • City Council adopted this item on July 19, 2022 with amendments.
  • This item was considered by Planning and Housing Committee on July 5, 2022 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on July 19, 2022.

PH35.20 - Local Priority Rules for Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing and Centralizing Access for Affordable Rental Housing

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on July 19, 20, 21 and 22, 2022, adopted the following:

 

1. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to develop a centralized system for selecting households from those waiting for affordable rental housing (the "Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System").

 

2. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to establish the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System that will:

 

a. be integrated with the system for selecting households from those waiting for rent-geared-to-income assistance under the Housing Services Act, 2011; 

 

b. incorporate the definition of affordable rental housing in the Official Plan for development of new affordable housing under an amended Municipal Housing Facility By-law and the definition of affordable rent in prior versions of the Official Plan and the Municipal Housing Facility By-law for affordable housing projects developed under prior versions of the Municipal Housing Facility By-law;

 

c. require that all new affordable rental housing homes be eligible for benefits under the Municipal Housing Facility By-law to participate in the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System from the waiting lists of community agencies, non-profit agencies or other groups and provided that tenant selection is carried out through a non-discriminatory process satisfactory to the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat;

 

d. permit existing affordable housing projects developed under previous Municipal Housing Facility By-laws to participate in the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System; 

 

e. incorporate rules:

 

1. for determining the eligibility of households to occupy an affordable rental unit;

 

2. for determining whether a unit that becomes vacant should be occupied by a household that will pay an affordable rent;

 

3. for determining the priority of households waiting for affordable rental housing;

 

4. governing the selection by an affordable housing provider of households to occupy affordable rental units that incorporates a choice-based allocation methodology; City Council approves the preference of City staff of a choice-based system outlined in Attachment 3 to the report (June 20, 2022) from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, subject to the vendor's ability to provide functionalities within the software; and that system outlined in Attachment 3 to the report (June 20, 2022) from the from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning be revised so that in the second year of the new system 75 percent of the units be allocated from the waiting list and 25 percent by random draw; and the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report back to City Council on outcomes achieved from the hybrid model, including:

 

a. data on who accessed the homes through the random draw process (including number of successful applications, household income, whether they are part of an equity-deserving group, etc.); and

 

b. recommendations to adjust allocation methodology to ensure those most in need (based on income and other priority criteria), are getting housed first;

 

5. that deal with households waiting for affordable rental housing that have accepted an offer of rent-geared-to-income assistance or an alternate form of financial assistance; 

 

6. that deal with households waiting for rent-geared-to-income assistance or an alternate form of financial assistance that have accepted an offer of affordable rental housing; and

 

7. addressing removal of a household from the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System; and

 

f. provide for access to affordable rental housing units to be occupied through referral agreements, where homes are set aside through an approved mandate and filled by the housing provider for specific eligible priority populations.

 

3. City Council authorize the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to negotiate and amend, on behalf of the City, the scope of work for the agreement with the vendor of the design and delivery of the choice-based system for the selection of households for rent-geared-to-income assistance, to support the design and development of the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System.

 

4. City Council authorize the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to include requirements in all new term sheets to be implemented in all new agreements securing new affordable housing units and new affordable replacement rental units for land owners to advertise and allocate affordable units in a manner consistent with practices for new affordable housing units secured and administered by the Housing Secretariat, including requirements for an approved access plan, income eligibility and the use of a Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System.

 

5. City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the City Solicitor to bring forward any necessary changes to the Residential Rental Property Demolition and Conversion Control By-law, Chapter 667 of the Municipal Code and to report back in 2023, in order to include reference to the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System for affordable replacement rental units without a returning tenant and potential remedies for non-compliance.

 

6. City Council amend the local priority rules as part of the Service Manager’s system under the Housing Services Act, 2011 for selecting households from those waiting for rent-geared-to-income assistance such that the following will apply effective July 1, 2023, ranked in the following order of priority:

 

a. over-housed households;

 

b. terminally ill;

 

c. tenants living in an rent-geared-to-income unit administered by the City as Service Manager receiving housing supports that are now capable of living independent of the support services;

 

d. applicants experiencing homelessness, including homeless newcomers, where every fifth rent-geared-to-income vacancy is filled by a household experiencing homelessness;

 

e. youth, who are 16 or 17 years old at the time of applying for rent-geared-to-income, applying independent of an adult, where every seventh rent-geared-to-income vacancy is filled with a youth household; and

 

f. Indigenous peoples, where every tenth rent-geared-to-income vacancy is filled by an Indigenous household.

 

7.  City Council confirm the priority for rent-geared-to-income housing for victims of abuse and human trafficking, as established by the Province’s Special Priority Program, and that these residents are to be housed as the first on a priority basis, in addition to the City’s own local priority groups for rent-geared-to-income housing.

 

8. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report on the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System and the rent-geared-to-income local priority rules through the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan annual progress reports.

 

9. City Council request the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat, as part of the ongoing consultation on the Affordable Rental Housing Access System, to develop for the public and housing stakeholders revised charts of Allocation Methodology for Affordable Rental Units shown in Figure 1 and Attachment 3 to the report (June 20, 2022) from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and that the revised charts include the role of approved Referral Agencies in filling units through referring eligible tenants to non-profit, co-operative and private sector landlords.

 

10. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to develop flexible program mechanisms within the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System to ensure that non-profit, co-operative and private sector operators of affordable rental housing are able to fill units with eligible tenants in a timely manner to prevent operators having vacant units and incurring revenue losses.

 

11. City Council request the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to maximize the success of developing the new Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System by including representatives of current non-profit, co-operative and private sector operators of affordable rental housing in the co-design, implementation planning and timing of the Access System being developed by the City and the City’s Vendor of Record.

Background Information (Committee)

(June 20, 2022) Report and Attachments 1 to 3 from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat; and Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning on Local Priority Rules for Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing and Centralizing Access for Affordable Rental Housing
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-227768.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(June 30, 2022) Letter from Tim Neeb, President, Mahogany Management (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-153976.pdf
(June 30, 2022) E-mail from Angus D. Palmer, General Manager, Wigwamen Incorporated (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-154019.pdf
(July 5, 2022) Letter from Harmy Mendoza, Executive Director, WomanACT (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-154032.pdf
(July 5, 2022) Letter from Kira Heineck, Executive Director, Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness (TAEH) (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-154083.pdf

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)

That City Council confirm the priority for rent-geared-to-income housing for victims of abuse and human trafficking, as established by the province’s Special Priority Program, and that these residents are to be housed as the first on a priority basis, in addition to the City’s own local priority groups for rent-geared-to-income housing.


2 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Stephen Holyday (Lost)

That:

 

1. City Council amend Planning and Housing Recommendation 2.e.4. by replacing "25%" with "0%", replacing "75%" with "100%", and deleting the words "through a random draw process", so that it now reads as follows:

 

2.e.4. governing the selection by an affordable housing provider of households to occupy affordable rental units that incorporates a choice-based allocation methodology; Council approves the preference of City staff of a choice-based system outlined in Attachment 3 to the report (June 20, 2022) from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat; and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, subject to the vendor's ability to provide functionalities within the software; and that system outlined in Attachment 3 be revised so that in the second year of the new system 75% 100% of the units be allocated from the waiting list and 25% 0% by random draw; and then Executive Director, Housing Secretariat  report back to Council on outcomes achieved from the hybrid model, including:

 

a. data on who accessed the homes through the random draw process (including # of successful applications, household income, whether they are part of an equity-deserving group, etc.); and

 

b. recommendations to adjust allocation methodology to ensure those most in need (based on income and other priority criteria), are getting housed first.

Vote (Amend Item) Jul-22-2022 11:37 AM

Result: Lost Majority Required - PH35.20 - Holyday - motion 2
Total members that voted Yes: 2 Members that voted Yes are Stephen Holyday, Mike Layton
Total members that voted No: 19 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Robin Buxton Potts, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, John Tory
Total members that were Absent: 4 Members that were absent are Cynthia Lai, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson

Vote (Amend Item) Jul-22-2022 11:38 AM

Result: Lost Majority Required - PH35.20 - Holyday - motion 2 - REVOTE
Total members that voted Yes: 1 Members that voted Yes are Stephen Holyday
Total members that voted No: 20 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Robin Buxton Potts, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Mike Layton, Nick Mantas, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, John Tory
Total members that were Absent: 4 Members that were absent are Cynthia Lai, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson

Motion to Reconsider Vote moved by Councillor Paul Ainslie (Carried)

That in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 27, Council Procedures, City Council reconsider the vote on motion 2 by Councillor Holyday.


Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

PH35.20 - Local Priority Rules for Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing and Centralizing Access for Affordable Rental Housing

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Planning and Housing Committee recommends that:

 

1. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to develop a centralized system for selecting households from those waiting for affordable rental housing (the "Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System").

 

2. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to establish the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System that will:

 

a. be integrated with the system for selecting households from those waiting for rent-geared-to-income assistance under the Housing Services Act, 2011; 

 

b. incorporate the definition of affordable rental housing in the Official Plan for development of new affordable housing under an amended Municipal Housing Facility By-law and the definition of affordable rent in prior versions of the Official Plan and the Municipal Housing Facility By-law for affordable housing projects developed under prior versions of the Municipal Housing Facility By-law;

 

c. require that all new affordable rental housing homes be eligible for benefits under the Municipal Housing Facility By-law to participate in the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System from the waiting lists of community agencies, non-profit agencies or other groups and provided that tenant selection is carried out through a non-discriminatory process satisfactory to the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat;

 

d. permit existing affordable housing projects developed under previous Municipal Housing Facility By-laws to participate in the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System; 

 

e. incorporate rules:

 

1. for determining the eligibility of households to occupy an affordable rental unit;

 

2. for determining whether a unit that becomes vacant should be occupied by a household that will pay an affordable rent;

 

3. for determining the priority of households waiting for affordable rental housing;

 

4. governing the selection by an affordable housing provider of households to occupy affordable rental units that incorporates a choice-based allocation methodology; Council approves the preference of City staff of a choice-based system outlined in Attachment 3 to the report (June 20, 2022) from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat; and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, subject to the vendor's ability to provide functionalities within the software; and that system outlined in Attachment 3 be revised so that in the second year of the new system 75% of the units be allocated from the waiting list and 25% by random draw; and then Executive Director, Housing Secretariat  report back to Council on outcomes achieved from the hybrid model, including:

 

a. data on who accessed the homes through the random draw process (including # of successful applications, household income, whether they are part of an equity-deserving group, etc.); and

 

b. recommendations to adjust allocation methodology to ensure those most in need (based on income and other priority criteria), are getting housed first.

 

5. that deal with households waiting for affordable rental housing that have accepted an offer of rent-geared-to-income assistance or an alternate form of financial assistance; 

 

6. that deal with households waiting for rent-geared-to-income assistance or an alternate form of financial assistance that have accepted an offer of affordable rental housing; and

 

7. addressing removal of a household from the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System.

 

f. provide for access to affordable rental housing units to be occupied through referral agreements, where homes are set aside through an approved mandate and filled by the housing provider for specific eligible priority populations.

 

3. City Council authorize the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to negotiate and amend, on behalf of the City, the scope of work for the agreement with the vendor of the design and delivery of the choice-based system for the selection of households for rent-geared-to-income assistance, to support the design and development of the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System.

 

4. City Council authorize the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to include requirements in all new term sheets to be implemented in all new agreements securing new affordable housing units and new affordable replacement rental units for land owners to advertise and allocate affordable units in a manner consistent with practices for new affordable housing units secured and administered by the Housing Secretariat, including requirements for an approved access plan, income eligibility and the use of a Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System.

 

5. City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and City Solicitor, Legal Services to bring forward any necessary changes to the Residential Rental Property Demolition and Conversion Control By-law, Chapter 667 of the Municipal Code and report back in 2023, in order to include reference to the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System for affordable replacement rental units without a returning tenant and potential remedies for non-compliance.

 

6. City Council amend the local priority rules as part of the Service Manager’s system under the Housing Services Act, 2011 for selecting households from those waiting for rent-geared-to-income assistance such that the following will apply effective July 1, 2023, ranked in the following order of priority:

 

a. Over-housed households;

 

b. Terminally Ill;

 

c. Tenants living in an rent-geared-to-income unit administered by the City as Service Manager receiving housing supports that are now capable of living independent of the support services;

 

d. Applicants experiencing homelessness, including homeless newcomers, where every fifth rent-geared-to-income vacancy is filled by a household experiencing homelessness;

 

e. Youth, who are 16 or 17 years old at the time of applying for rent-geared-to-income, applying independent of an adult, where every seventh rent-geared-to-income vacancy is filled with a youth household; and

 

f. Indigenous peoples, where every tenth rent-geared-to-income vacancy is filled by an Indigenous household.

 

7. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat to report on the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System and the rent-geared-to-income local priority rules through the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan annual progress reports.

 

8. City Council request the Executive Director as part of the ongoing consultation on the Affordable Rental Housing Access System to develop for the public and housing stakeholders revised charts of Allocation Methodology for Affordable Rental Units shown in Figure 1 and Attachment 3 in the Report, and that the revised charts include the role of approved Referral Agencies in filling units through referring eligible tenants to non-profit, co-operative and private sector landlords.

 

9. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat, to develop flexible program mechanisms within the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System to ensure that non-profit, co-operative and private sector operators of affordable rental housing are able to fill units with eligible tenants in a timely manner to prevent operators having vacant units and incurring revenue losses.

 

10. City Council request the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat, to maximize the success of developing the new Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System by including representatives of current non-profit, co-operative, and private sector operators of affordable rental housing in the co-design, implementation planning and timing of the Access System being developed by the City and the City’s Vendor of Record.

Origin

(June 20, 2022) Report from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat; and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning

Summary

The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan ("HousingTO Plan") provides a blueprint for actions and investments across the full housing spectrum to enhance access to safe, secure and affordable homes for Toronto residents. As part of the HousingTO Plan, the City adopted a new Housing Charter, Opportunity for All, with a key principle that "all residents have a right to housing that is accessible and takes into account the specific needs of historically disadvantaged and marginalized groups." In adopting the HousingTO Plan and Charter, the City also committed to taking a human rights-based approach to the development and implementation of all housing policies, programs, initiatives and investments over the next ten years.

 

One key step in advancing a rights-based approach to housing is to improve access to affordable homes for Toronto residents. This report makes a number of recommendations for City Council's consideration that would enhance the City's social housing program, known as Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing, and the Affordable Rental Housing program to improve access. The proposed changes would also help improve fairness, transparency and equity in how affordable homes, including deeply affordable RGI homes, are allocated.

 

In line with the Auditor General's recommendations, through the report, Opening Doors to Stable Housing: An Effective Waiting List and Reduced Vacancy Rates Will Help More People Access Housing, which was adopted by City Council in July 2019, this report seeks City Council authority to amend the existing RGI local priority rules, which were adopted by City Council in 2002, to support the selection of households based on an applicant's level of need.

 

Recognizing the need to enhance and further streamline the administration of affordable rental housing as the supply of new affordable homes increases, the HousingTO Plan includes a recommendation to design and implement a centralized access system to improve the allocation of affordable rental homes. In February 2022, Planning and Housing Committee (PH31.5) adopted the concept design for the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System. The concept design sets expectations for a technology solution to meet the desired experience of users and to leverage the existing choice-based technology by creating a one window portal, which will create a single entry point for applicants to apply for rent-geared-to-income and affordable rental homes.

 

To that end, this report includes recommendations to develop and implement a Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System for affordable rental housing opportunities; an allocation methodology to fill affordable rental homes through the system, once implemented; and an approach to consolidate and streamline the future administration of new affordable housing contracts and agreements.

 

The Housing Secretariat will continue to monitor and review the housing outcomes of applicants housed in RGI and affordable rental homes and will report on the progress of the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System through the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan progress reports.

Background Information

(June 20, 2022) Report and Attachments 1 to 3 from the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat; and Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning on Local Priority Rules for Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing and Centralizing Access for Affordable Rental Housing
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-227768.pdf

Communications

(June 30, 2022) Letter from Tim Neeb, President, Mahogany Management (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-153976.pdf
(June 30, 2022) E-mail from Angus D. Palmer, General Manager, Wigwamen Incorporated (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-154019.pdf
(July 5, 2022) Letter from Harmy Mendoza, Executive Director, WomanACT (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-154032.pdf
(July 5, 2022) Letter from Kira Heineck, Executive Director, Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness (TAEH) (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2022/ph/comm/communicationfile-154083.pdf

Speakers

Kira Heineck, Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness

Motions

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Paula Fletcher (Carried)

That:

 

1.  The following new recommendation be added to Recommendation 2:

 

“provide for access to affordable rental housing units to be occupied through referral agreements, where homes are set aside through an approved mandate and filled by the housing provider for specific eligible priority populations.”

 

2. City Council request the Executive Director as part of the ongoing consultation on the Affordable Rental Housing Access System to develop for the public and housing stakeholders revised charts of Allocation Methodology for Affordable Rental Units shown in Figure 1 and Attachment 3 in the Report, and that the revised charts include the role of approved Referral Agencies in filling units through referring eligible tenants to non-profit, co-operative and private sector landlords.

 

3. City Council direct the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat, to develop flexible program mechanisms within the Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System to ensure that non-profit, co-operative and private sector operators of affordable rental housing are able to fill units with eligible tenants in a timely manner to prevent operators having vacant units and incurring revenue losses.

 

4. City Council request the Executive Director, Housing Secretariat, to maximize the success of developing the new Centralized Affordable Rental Housing Access System by including representatives of current non-profit, co-operative, and private sector operators of affordable rental housing in the co-design, implementation planning and timing of the Access System being developed by the City and the City’s Vendor of Record.


2 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Paula Fletcher (Carried)

That Recommendation 2.e.4. be amended to read as follows:

 

"governing the selection by an affordable housing provider of households to occupy affordable rental units that incorporates a choice-based allocation methodology; Council approves the preference of City staff of a choice-based system outlined in Attachment 3, subject to the vendor's ability to provide functionalities within the software;  and that system outlined in Attachment 3 be revised so that in the second year of the new system 75% of the units be allocated from the waiting list and 25% by random draw; and then Executive Director, Housing Secretariat  report back to Council on outcomes achieved from the hybrid model, including:

 

a. data on who accessed the homes through the random draw process (including # of successful applications, household income, whether they are part of an equity-deserving group, etc.); and

 

b. recommendations to adjust allocation methodology to ensure those most in need (based on income and other priority criteria), are getting housed first."


3 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Paula Fletcher (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council