Basement Apartments are Now Legal in Toronto!
MEDIA RELEASE: Toronto - April 19, 2000
Housing Coalition applauds OMB decision to permit apartments in houses.
The Network of Second Suite Supporters is pleased that the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has affirmed the merits of City of Toronto's by-laws allowing second suites in semi-detached and detached homes across the City. While instructing the City to make revisions concerning the provision of car parking in some areas and the preservation of the external appearance of homes, the Board declared that "in all other respects, the appeals are dismissed."
The OMB decision is a cause for celebration by homeowners, home-seekers, tenants, communities, and the city at large. Homeowners, especially seniors, will have the option of income and security from sharing their homes. Tenants will benefit from a modest increase over time in affordable housing across the city, and the regulation of formerly illegal second suites. Communities will be enriched by greater inclusiveness, a quality that makes Toronto so special. And the city at large will save some scarce tax dollars that would have gone to more emergency shelters. This decision acknowledges the failure of the residential construction industry and provincial and federal governments to develop affordable housing.
The Network anticipates working with the City to develop and distribute educational materials for tenants and homeowners to ensure that the benefits and requirements of second suites are understood and implemented effectively.
The OMB's decision is a significant step forward to dealing with the housing crisis in Toronto. However, these by-laws alone cannot solve the depth of our City's current shortage of affordable rental housing. The Provincial and Federal governments must take responsibility to fund the construction of affordable housing and uphold housing rights/obligations as set out in international human rights declarations and agreements.
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