New City Bylaw Falls Thousands of Units Short on Affordable Housing


Opportunity Knocks: Toronto City Council's Chance to Create Tens of Thousands of Affordable Homes assesses the City’s opportunity to realize the full potential of its new Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) policy to help expand access to affordable housing. It finds that a well-designed IZ policy has the potential to produce tens of thousands of affordable homes and reduce racial, spatial, and social inequality in Toronto. The City’s draft IZ policy fails to maximize the potential of this important new tool, despite the urgent need for affordable housing. 

The report quantifies the amount of affordable rental housing that could be produced by implementing a strong, evidence-based IZ policy, and the much lower amount that would be produced by the City’s current proposed IZ policy. It also estimates the amount of affordable housing lost due to past delay. The analysis reveals that: 

  • an evidence-based IZ policy could create more than 3,000 affordable rental units every year in Toronto, while still leaving developers throughout the city a motivating profit margin of at least 15% and landowners with at least 10% above the current value of their land;  
  • the City’s proposed IZ policy would initially be producing 3.5 times fewer affordable rental units (2022 through 2024); 
  • even by 2030, the City’s proposed IZ policy would be producing just under two times fewer affordable rental units; 
  • approximately 30,862 affordable rental housing units could have been produced through IZ over the past decade (2011-2020) if not for provincial delays. 

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