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June 22, 2001
Toronto calls for immediate rental housing action
  
The City of Toronto took action today to address the critical shortage of new
rental housing in the city. In releasing a Rental Action Plan, called
"Unlocking the Opportunity for New Rental Housing: A Call to Action," the City
of Toronto called on senior levels of government to join its efforts to
encourage the construction of new rental housing.

"We have all rented at one time or another," said Councillor Mike Feldman.
"Everybody understands that we need to build more new rental housing. Toronto
can't be a competitive city without it. We're asking the federal and provincial
governments to work with us to make rental housing happen."

Unlocking the Opportunity begins the City's Official Plan housing campaign to
ensure a range of housing options, including new and affordable rental housing.
The report urges the federal and provincial governments to undertake a number
of actions, along with the City, to spur the construction of new rental
housing. Actions include treating rental housing fairly in tax legislation,
changing Canada Mortgage and Housing Company's restrictive underwriting
criteria, providing municipalities with more planning flexibility and training
more skilled construction tradespeople.

"We're talking about a problem that affects more than half of Toronto's
households and four out of five newcomers who rent their accommodation," said
Councillor Joe Pantalone, Chair of the Planning and Transportation Committee.
"As our population grows, the need for rental housing grows. We can't have
smart growth without rental housing."

"Only 30 new rental units were completed in Toronto last year yet we need 2,500
newly constructed units a year just to meet basic demand," said Councillor
Feldman. "The new units we need will only be built if the three governments
work together. It's not going to happen without joint action."

Unlocking the Opportunity is an outcome of the City's Urban Development
Roundtable -- Rental Working Group, formed in July 2000 to find solutions to
the rental housing shortage and comprised of rental builders and City
officials. The Planning and Transportation Committee will review the report on
July 3, 2001.

For additional information, please see the City's Torontoplan Web site at www.city.to
ronto.on.ca/torontoplan
.


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