This report covers the two Let’s Build projects, 3810 Bathurst Street and 1555 Jane Street. Our review identified a number of areas requiring improvement. The City has now created an Affordable Housing Office to undertake, among other things, the activities of the Let’s Build Program. Therefore, the recommendations in this report have been directed to the Deputy City Manager responsible for the Affordable Housing Office.
This report contains three major recommendations. Firstly, staff in the City Planning Division needs to apply a consistent cost/benefit analysis to ensure the City receives sufficient and appropriate community benefits from developers in return for increased height and/or density allowed under Section 37 of the Planning Act. The second major recommendation requires City staff to perform net present value calculations of benefits to be received from developers (primarily through rent reductions), compared to federal/provincial/municipal grants, subsidies and allowances provided to developers for each project selected by the Affordable Housing Office. Finally, staff of the Affordable Housing Office should implement a process to ensure they are fully informed on the impact of any existing planning approvals, including Section 37 agreements, with respect to any projects being considered by the Office.
Addressing the recommendations in this report will enhance the benefits received by the City and its communities for funding and incentives provided to promote affordable rental housing.