Toronto, ON – WoodGreen Community Services welcomes the Ontario government’s announcement of the new Ontario Infrastructure Bank and initial investment of $3 billion. WoodGreen is pleased to see that one of the bank’s focuses will be investing in affordable housing projects. We look forward to seeing further details on how this fund will be able to work with non-profit housing providers and support the development of affordable housing.
While we are encouraged to see the province taking more actions to support the development of affordable housing, such as the removal of the eight per cent provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on qualifying new purpose-built rental housing, we still need further tools to speed up and scale new affordable housing supply in Ontario. We therefore call upon the Ontario government to take the following additional actions:
- Provide non-profit developers equal opportunity to access government-owned surplus land to develop affordable rental units.
- Utilize provincial funds, such as the Provincial Land Transfer Tax, to establish a revolving affordable housing equity fund for non-profit housing providers so they can launch non-market housing projects.
- Prioritize funding for collaborative private and non-profit developer projects that build affordable housing.
- Provide non-profit housing providers access to long-term and lower-rate borrowing.
WoodGreen looks forward to continuing to work with the Ontario government to accelerate the supply of affordable rental housing and for further details on how the Ontario Infrastructure Bank can contribute.
WoodGreen — with close to 1,500 deeply affordable housing units — is one of Toronto’s largest non-municipal affordable housing providers, offering safe and affordable homes to seniors, newcomers, youth, individuals with disabilities and people with a long history of homelessness. Our organization has an ambitious plan to own and/or manage 3,000 units within the next ten years.
ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org): WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We offer over 75 programs and services tackling the social determinants that affect the health and well-being of individuals in our community.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Senior Communications Manager; [email protected]; (437) 226-8091 (cell).