Canada's Condominium Magazine

Real estate on agenda at city hall as council debates selling community housing

Real estate will be on the agenda at Toronto city hall tomorrow as council debates whether to sell off some 55 city-owned houses. Each of the homes, owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), is valued at about $600,000. The approximately $35.5 million that could be realized by the sale would be used to repair other units owned by the corporation.

TCHC is landlord to 164,000 low and moderate-income tenants and is the second largest social housing provider in North America. Those living in community housing include seniors, families, singles, refugees, recent immigrants to Canada and people with various special needs. They make up about 58,500 households in all.

The backlog for repairs to TCHC-owned properties is estimated to be $750 million.

Also on the agenda is the purchase of land on Wellesley Street between Bay and Yonge. The vacant property is owned by the Ontario Government. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has been leading a move to turn the land into a park, to be named after Jane Jacobs, the world-renowned urbanist who made Toronto her home for more than forty years.

Meanwhile, Toronto housing prices have increased by an average of 22.8 per cent since 2008, according to a report by the Ontario Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. If the increase in the assessed value of a property leads to an increase in taxes for that property, some owners could find themselves squeezed. An increase in value does not necessarily mean an increase in taxes, though. The area’s 727,000 property owners will receive assessment notices soon. 

One way a property owner can check whether the assessment is accurate is to ask whether they could have sold their property for its assessed value as of January 1 this year. If the answer is yes, then the assessment is accurate, according to MPAC. 

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