Councillor Josh Matlow

Improving Affordability & Supporting Aging in Place

Many older homeowners in our city no longer have children living at home and are now over housed. The Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis has estimated that there are over 5 million empty bedrooms in Ontario, with likely a significant percentage of those in Toronto. That’s why I moved a motion at Council to improve access to neighbourhoods and support aging in place by incentivizing single-family homeowners to retrofit their homes to build multiple units.

It is not enough to allow for retrofitting single-family homes into duplexes, triplexes, or semi-detached dwellings, the City needs to help ensure that residents move forward with this goal. Currently, City Planning’s fee structure makes no distinction between a large developer and a single-family homeowner in regards to its condo application fee. The initial fee for both parties is $10,183.10. My motion requests staff to report on the feasibility of eliminating this fee for single-family homeowners who retrofit their home into a multi-unit dwelling.

Another barrier for homeowners is the onerous legal and planning costs and bureaucracy associated with dividing their home. That’s why this motion requests staff to study the feasibility of creating a “one stop shop” with legal, planning, and permit support.

It is important to note that this motion requests City Planning to ensure that any recommendations put forward do not incentivize current owners of rental properties to turn their units into condos.

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