Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Toronto has awarded $21.5 million in multi-unit residential acquisition (MURA) program funding to five non-profit housing agencies to purchase and convert about 121 private market rental housing units to permanently affordable rental homes.
By working with non-profit agencies to purchase market rental buildings the city hopes to quickly secure affordable rental housing. Since its 2021 launch, MURA has funded not-for-profit agencies to secure approximately 261 permanently affordable homes in neighbourhoods across Toronto.
“Renters are feeling insecure. Evictions, renovictions and skyrocketing rents make it harder for people to find and stay in housing they can afford,” said Mayor Olivia Chow. “It is more challenging than ever to be a renter in Toronto. I’ve committed to expanding the MURA program to $100 million to secure over 600 more affordable homes for people each year.
“To help make it a reality, I’m calling on partnership from other levels of government. By helping non-profits, land trusts and co-ops acquire homes, we can keep them affordable forever and give people more opportunities to find housing they can afford.”
According to staff, the city has five additional approved but unfunded proposals that will need contributions of $22.4 million from other orders of government and philanthropists to create129 more permanently affordable rental homes.
Twenty per cent of MURA homes will be tenanted by households on the City’s Centralized Waiting List for Rent-Geared-to-Income housing, which will be provided with monthly housing benefits. At least 20 per cent of annual funding is dedicated to supporting acquisitions by Indigenous housing organizations for Indigenous peoples.
Two of the five non-profit housing agencies awarded 2023 MURA funding are Indigenous, with proposals representing 33 homes. To date, 30 per cent of MURA’s funding has been allocated to support the acquisition of 45 affordable rental homes by Indigenous housing groups.