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Mutli-Tenant
(Rooming) Houses

A multi-tenant house, also known as a rooming house, is a building with four or more rooms that may have a common washroom and kitchen. These rooms may also have a private washroom or kitchen, but not both.

On December 14, 2022, Toronto City Council adopted a new regulatory framework for multi-tenant houses. The Zoning Bylaw was amended to permit multi-tenant houses across all of Toronto and a new Multi-Tenant Houses Licensing Bylaw was also adopted. This new bylaw will introduce consistent standards, regulatory oversight and effective enforcement to protect the safety of tenants and respond to neighbourhood concerns. 

Starting March 31, 2024, all operators of multi-tenant (rooming) houses will be required to obtain a licence.

The new regulatory framework will help ensure multi-tenant houses in Toronto are safer and permit affordable housing options across the city. It will also help support complete communities with a range of housing opportunities for different incomes and needs.

The new framework will:

  • Permit multi-tenant houses across the city and set standards such as maximum number of rooms and parking requirements

  • Introduce enhanced licensing requirements for multi-tenant house operators that promote health and safety

  • Put in place an effective enforcement and compliance program

  • Preserve affordable housing and support tenants

  • Roll out comprehensive communications and engagement strategies

To learn more about the new regulatory framework, visit the City's website below:

Shelley's work on the Multi-Tenant Housing Regulatory Framework

 

In summer 2021, Shelley volunteered to sit on the sub-committee to refine the existing proposal to permit multi-tenant houses city-wide. She worked closely with fellow Councillors and City staff to identify changes that would make the proposal stronger and address many of the concerns she had heard from the Don Valley North community, such as:

  • Increasing the budget to include 40 additional staff who will be mobilized for three years to work intensively in the areas that will be introducing multi-tenant housing licenses for the first time (this includes Don Valley North). Additional bylaw officers on the ground will have a ripple effect in tackling other problems in our neighbourhoods.

  • Adjusting the proposal to allow for a maximum of six tenanted rooms per house. Rooms will have to be inspected and brought into full Fire Code compliance as a condition of the license. Parking limits will also be much more specific and be made a condition of the license.

  • Completing a comprehensive review of this program at the end of the three year implementation period. This will include consulting with all stakeholders, including neighbours. The goal of this entire initiative is to eliminate illegal forms of housing throughout the city. If, at the time of the review, the program hasn’t eliminated illegal rooming houses and brought compliance and fire safety to all neighbourhoods, then the City will have to keep up the additional resources being allocating to this proposal.

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