of ford government It faces questions about why royal institutions were allowed to sell unused government land to private buyers without guaranteeing it would be used for affordable housing. .
Criticism is a series of controversial tools introduced under the guise of solving the housing crisis to remove parts of the greenbelt, cut funding for the city, and give Toronto and Ottawa strong mayoral powers. Occurs when the state is throwing its weight behind it.
Since at least 2019, Ontario Municipal and Housing Minister Steve Clark has said that surplus government land: affordable housing puzzle.
“Can the Minister explain how surplus land like this can help provide much-needed housing, especially affordable housing?” Oakville MPP April 2019 ‘s Stephen Crawford asked Clark a question.
“It’s imperative that we create the necessary environment to bring more homes to market faster and make housing more affordable,” Clark said as part of the response, adding that the building will be built on government surplus land in Toronto. He praised the benefits of the rental housing project.
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But as the housing crisis worsens, it seems that major government agencies are no longer following the model Clarke boasted of in 2019.
A list of property sales by Metrolinx, obtained by Global News through a Freedom of Information request, said the agency was unable to turn surplus land into affordable housing projects between January 2021 and September 2022. is shown.
The list revealed that none of the eight parcels sold were used for affordable housing, with nearly 40% sold for large-scale private development.
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In October, Clark doubled down on a 2019 commitment to use surplus land for affordable housing.
“Almost every mayor I meet on my travels through the state talks about land in the state that they think can be leveraged for affordable housing projects,” he said.
“There are a lot of good ideas. I hear every day. Now some of those available lands have been allocated to states through the (infrastructure) minister Surma.”
The list obtained by Global News consists of parcels sold between March 2021 and June 2022. They were sold in Toronto, Orangeville, Pickering and Mississauga.
A parcel of land in Mississauga near Goreway Drive and Highway 427 has been sold to a numbered Ontario company for a gas station and truck stop. The Orangeville land purchased by the local government is the only land not acquired by a private entity and is slated to become a fire station.
Another company also purchased three single-family homes in Scarborough. The owner told Global News that it was purchased as an investment property for rent.
Other lots are used for large private condominium construction projects.
Developer Universal City Seven Developments Inc. has purchased land near GO Pickering Station.
Planning documents filed with the city of Pickering show the developer plans to build a 37-story condominium with 482 units. The words “rental” and “affordable” do not appear in the documentation.
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Metrolinx sold the land around the Port Credit GO station to Edenshaw Developments in December 2021. The company plans to build his 40-story and his 42-story condo towers.
“The provision of affordable housing through these applications is currently under review,” said June Mississauga planning documents.
The Bayview and Eglinton Avenue parcels in Toronto were sold to Country Wide Homes in June 2022. On the site he proposed a 35-story multi-purpose tower.
A spokesman for the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said the state was “working to create a program” to use surplus land to build new homes.
“The new program leverages state authorities, surplus or underutilized land, and commercial innovation and partnerships to make home ownership accessible to all and in mixed-income communities that help families achieve home ownership. We build achievable homes quickly,” said a spokesperson.
Metrolinx sent a statement to Global News in response to questions about why the land was not sold for affordable housing projects.
“As an agency of the Government of Ontario, Metrolinks is obligated to comply with the Ontario Real Estate Directive, as was done in each of the instances referenced,” Metrolinks said.
The Ontario Real Estate Directive is a set of rules that require public lands to be offered to other governments, boards of education, indigenous groups, and nonprofits for first refusal.
“Without interest from these groups, Metrolinks will be able to list properties for sale to the public at fair market value to ensure the best value for taxpayers,” the statement said. Added.
That description falls short of what Queen’s Park opposition politicians want to see.
Ontario Green Party leader Mike Schreiner said, “Many housing affordability experts[say]that public land should be used for affordable housing projects.
“Public land is what it should be used for. It is an asset that should be used to give people access to an affordable place to call home.”
Ontario’s NDP says the sale is wasting an opportunity to build affordable housing on public land rather than private land.
NDP housing critic Jessica Bell told Global News:
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