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1. Establish a Mayor’s Homelessness Committee with participation from a broad range of stakeholders. The specific goal: match other cities that have set “zero homelessness” as a long-term policy goal, and map out how to use the long-term operating savings that would come from housing the homeless in safe, supportive “microhousing” to finance a homelessness elimination strategy.
2. Review the criteria for awarding funds under the emergency rent and utility programs with the goal of broadening both as a tool to prevent homelessness.
3. Partner with a registered charity to serve as the loaning agency for a City rent bank, with the City as the operating partner.
4. Continue to support the LGBT youth homelessness initiative recently voted on by Council.
5. Gradually decentralize the Toronto Community Housing Corporation into smaller agencies or trusts to bring management closer to residents and increase service flexibility.
6. Include partnerships with charities and city-formed land trusts in the decentralization effort to leverage donor investment and non-profit management for City-owned social housing.
7. Adopt new service benchmarks and management strategies to reduce the waitlist backlog.
8. Change City policies so that qualified social housing residents - including trained youth co-ops on work placement - are able to perform minor state-of-good-repair maintenance rather than waiting indefinitely for repairs.*
9. Fund work to address the state-of-good-repair backlog through a combination of Section 37 reforms, a Funds-in-Lieu program, policing savings and case-by-case efforts to leverage intergovernmental contributions.
10. Support the tax reduction for multi-unit residential buildings past the 2015 expiry date.
11. Lead the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and other groups to include lobbying against tax and investment disincentives against rental investment alongside efforts to lobby Ottawa for federal support for housing.
12. Allow for location-specific development charges, providing fair and consistent discounts for new home construction in areas with surplus transit, water and sewer capacity, and in Neighborhood Investment Areas.
13. Add facilitating rental housing investments to the mandate of the “Gold Star” Economic Development program.
14. Support innovative zoning proposals that would increase housing availability with minimal impact on target neighborhoods (e.g. laneway housing).
15. Review and reduce the threshold for requiring inclusionary zoning. Should funds-in-lieu be paid, at least some of these funds will go to fund the state-of-good-repair backlog in social housing
16. Require a set-aside of 10% of units for affordable housing for any projects built in areas of very high density, and for projects requiring re-zoning. Allow for payment of funds-in-lieu of these unit in some cases.
17. Lobby Queen’s Park to confirm the City of Toronto’s right to set aside 20% of any Section 37 payments for repair and construction of social housing without any further legislative uncertainty, and then secure Council support for this revenue stream.
18. Reform Section 37 rules to set minimum requirements for transparency and/or public participation, and publish a formula for fees to reduce delays from related negotiations.
* Edited for clarity - August 28, 2014