Mayor John Tory Already Has All The Tools To Create Affordable Housing

September 27th, 2016 · 3 Comments · Property Management, Rental Property, Tenant Resources

2016-09-21-15-12-14

I’m so sick of people flapping their lips about affordable housing. Especially politicians. Because it’s all bullshit.

Here the city of Toronto website page about affordable housing Everyone is confused, let’s have a meeting about it (with catered lunches and committees.) That will work won’t it?

The real conversation is about poor people being hard to help, and how complex an issue housing is. Even when you give the poor an almost free apartment, like they do in social housing, a certain portion of the population sees fit to hoard, deal drugs and turn tricks out the lobby of the building. The city of Toronto can’t afford to fix the apartments they have never mind build new ones. They sell off as many units as they can after they are turned into cesspits by the people who live there, likely to be turned into more condos.

However, the city of Toronto has a rarely used tool to lower rents on a scale that has never been seen in Toronto or anywhere else for that matter. Furthermore it would be the fairest most equitable way to provide equity for the most disadvantaged part of society you have ever seen.

Lower Taxes on Multiresidential Apartments

2016 Property Tax Rates

Description City Tax Rate % Education Tax Rate % Transit Tax Rate % Total Tax Rate %
Residential 0.4970292% 0.1880000% 0.0029439% 0.6879731%
Multi-Residential 1.4492567% 0.1880000% 0.0028860% 1.6401427%
New <——-
Multi-Residential
0.4970292% 0.1880000% 0.0029439% 0.6879731%
Commercial General 1.4569742% 1.1800000% 0.0028860% 2.6398602%
Residual Commercial –
Band 1
1.2562142% 1.1800000% 0.0024883% 2.4387025%
Residual Commercial –
Band 2
1.4569742% 1.1800000% 0.0028860% 2.6398602%
Industrial 1.4492567% 1.2536020% 0.0028860% 2.7057447%
Pipelines 0.9560674% 1.4820840% 0.0056628% 2.4438142%
Farmlands 0.1242573% 0.0470000% 0.0007360% 0.1719933%
Managed Forests 0.1242573% 0.0470000% 0.0007360% 0.1719933%

Look at that crap… a tenant living in those Parkdale cockroach infested rat traps is paying 3 times the property tax than those shiny new buildings.

Part of the reason that tenants are poor and landlords can’t fix up their buildings is because the City of Toronto is a greedy inequitable tax sucking behemoth.

It’s the law that if property taxes are lowered, the tenants automatically get a rent reduction. I know this because I was managing a building when the city moved our garbage bill from our property taxes to the water bill and it triggered an automatic rent reduction when they’d actually raised our costs.

Here’s quote from the brochure from the Landlord & Tenant Board Brochure about Automatic Rent Reductions.

When a landlord’s property taxes are reduced by more than 2.49% from one year to the next, the Residential Tenancies Act (the “Act”) requires that rents also be reduced to reflect the decrease in the landlord’s municipal property taxes. This is called an automatic rent reduction. If municipal taxes have been reduced by more than 2.49%, municipalities must send a notice of rent reduction to landlords and tenants of residential complexes that have 7 or more rental units. The notice of rent reduction sets out the percentage rent reduction that will be applied to all residential rental units in the complex.

This is a matter of equity, and if the City of Toronto wants affordable housing they can do it immediately using the tools they already have. Why should tenants living in a 30-40 year old building pay 3 times the property tax as all the downtown condos and brand new rental buildings ? The poorest of the poor are subsidizing the property taxes of the richest of the rich.

Or maybe all these committees and catered lunches are about the same old rehashed and tired memes about equity when basically it’s just coffee time for bored bureaucrats and more of the same lies. You need balls of steel to stop talking about affordable housing and do something.

Mr Mayor Tory, you already have the tools, now do you have the balls?

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Ali Akhtar

    the decrease can be financed by increase in residential rates. low rise taxes are just too low relative to condos/apartment and hence frothy market for it and calls to bring affordability there.

    this would be hitting two targets with one stone.

  • Kimmo Virtanen

    This would save average only $83.00 at month if average apartment price is $100000.00.

    • Rachelle

      But the average apartment cost in Toronto isn’t $100,000 is it? It’s more. And it would affect the poorest people and the oldest apartments. The city says property taxes account for 20% of rent approximately. Ant the average renter is paying 2/3 more than any condo dweller or home owner. If the city reduced the property tax on multiresidential by 2/3 the tenants would get a 13% rent reduction. This is more than grocery money for a lot of these tenants.