Telecom Giant Rogers Faces Call to Expropriate Vacant Properties for Affordable Housing

A local researcher in Toronto has ignited a push to expropriate a collection of mostly vacant homes owned by telecommunications giant Rogers Communications (TSE: RCI.B) and convert them into affordable housing units. 

The proposal, submitted by Adam Wynne on the City’s Ward 13 engagement website Toronto Centre Projects, seeks to address the city’s ongoing housing crisis by repurposing the underutilized properties.

According to the proposal, Rogers owns a stretch of 13 homes on Isabella and Huntley Streets that have remained unoccupied for years, with the exception of a single live-in caretaker. Wynne argues that these existing resources could provide much-needed affordable housing in a city grappling with skyrocketing costs and limited supply.

“With an ongoing housing crisis in Toronto, these are important and existing resources that could be housing people. The City of Toronto should pursue expropriation of these vacant homes for use as affordable housing,” the proposal states.

Source: Adam Wynne via Toronto Centre Projects

The motion also identifies a complex of late 20th-century townhouses at 112-122 Isabella Street, suggesting they could be demolished and the land intensified for affordable housing development. Additionally, a large surface parking lot at the rear of the properties is proposed for potential redevelopment.

While the City of Toronto has not directly addressed the proposal, a spokesperson stated that the municipality supports community non-profit housing groups through acquisition programs like the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition (MURA) Program. This initiative provides funds to not-for-profit and Indigenous housing organizations to purchase at-risk private rental properties for conversion into long-term affordable homes.

The motion requires 60 votes within 120 days to be brought forward by Councillor Moise’s office and has already garnered close to 80 votes as of this writing.

Information for this story was found via the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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