May 1, 2023
Toronto's Community Trusts Development aims to establish public wealth channels and governance structures to safeguard valuable community assets like land and data for future generations. Community Land Trusts (CLTs), such as the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust and the Toronto Community Housing Corporation own and manage land for affordable housing, community facilities, and other purposes.
The CLT acquires properties for affordable housing and commercial space, either by purchasing or leasing long-term. They develop the properties to meet community needs, manage them to stay affordable and accessible. They lease the land to tenants at affordable rates while retaining ownership, ensuring that the land is available for affordable purposes indefinitely. CLTs can be an effective affordable real estate strategy for low and moderate-income renters seeking long-term stability. CLTs provide several benefits, including:
By separating the ownership of land from buildings, CLTs can keep housing costs low and ensure long-term affordability for low and moderate-income renters.
CLTs are community-based organizations that are democratically controlled by their members. This ensures that community needs and priorities are taken into account in decision-making.
CLTs offer long-term leases, which provide renters with stability and security.
CLTs can ensure that the land remains available for affordable housing in perpetuity, even as the housing market fluctuates.
This trust framework will establish cooperative agreements and roles for managing land, data, and money for the development of benefits over time. This trust can serve many purposes, including estate planning, tax planning, medical planning, and charitable giving. I believe that establishing this trust will be an essential step towards advancing an affordable real estate strategy for our city.
Assessing land's value to support the development of affordable real estate agreements and lowering cost of living
This proposal focuses on resetting tax classes for fairness, supporting the development of affordable real estate agreements for all residents, generating sustainable revenues for the city's finances, deteriorating services, and infrastructure. The following policies will be prioritized:
Mixed-use zoning will prioritize real estate development that have multi-use purposes and community benefits that revive Main Street business. Toronto will implement zoning changes in certain areas to combine transportation, residential, commercial, light and advanced manufacturing, recreational and entertainment facilities that make amenities more accessible to residents.
Universal Design will be prioritized to create spaces that are accessible and usable by everyone, regardless of their physical abilities. Toronto could adopt universal design principles in building codes and planning policies to ensure that all new construction and major renovations are designed to be accessible to people of all abilities.
Urban Markets and Farms
Urban Markets and Farms will be incorporated into urban planning, including community gardens, parks, and green roofs, to improve the quality of life for residents and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Transit-Oriented Development will prioritize building high-density, mixed-use developments around transit hubs and in areas around transit stations, to promote walkability, address traffic congestion, and increase access to public transportation.
Accessible Healthcare Systems
Accessible healthcare systems planned by residents with the help of healthcare providers such as mobile clinics or community health centers to make it easier for residents to reduce wait-times at hospitals by shrinking the distance to specialized medical care, public health programs and wellness services.
"Lazy Land" Taxing
Taxes on "lazy land" refer to a municipal policy tool used by municipalities to encourage the development of vacant or underutilized land by increasing property taxes on these parcels. The aim is to encourage owners to put their land to productive use, such as by developing housing, commercial space, or public amenities.
My goal is to use data tools to assess and accurately capture land’s value to help residential and commercial tenants seeking cost of living adjustments and affordable rental agreements help communities seeking help with their goods, services, and networks. We plan to achieve this by negotiating with not-for-profit and for-profit real estate developers, property managers, landowners, and tenant associations.