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Ontario Paving the Way for More Affordable Housing

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Ontario Paving the Way for More Affordable Housing

Municipalities Can Now Require Affordable Units in New Residential Developments

Ontario is paving the way for more affordable housing by giving municipalities the ability to require that affordable units are created in new residential developments.

Inclusionary zoning is a planning tool that allows municipalities to require developers to include affordable housing units in residential developments. The province has worked with municipalities, housing advocates, and developers to create regulations that give municipalities the flexibility they need to maximize the benefit of this new tool.

Under the new regulations, municipalities will be able to mandate that affordable units for low- and middle-income families are included in new housing developments to create mixed-income communities.

Municipalities will have the flexibility to:

  • Decide the total number of affordable housing units to be included in some residential  developments, how long units stay affordable, and what measures and incentives can be used to offset the costs of the development of affordable units
  • Determine if, and how many, affordable housing units can be built on another site
  • Expand housing options and increase the supply of affordable housing in their communities.

The new inclusionary zoning bylaws will apply to developments of 10 or more units, although municipalities could choose to set a higher threshold based on local circumstances. Municipalities can also apply inclusionary zoning to any type of residential development--both ownership and rental--based on local needs and priorities.

Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Passed in December 2016, the amendments made under the Promoting Affordable Housing Act help increase the supply of affordable housing and modernize social housing in various ways, including implementing inclusionary zoning.
  • Inclusionary zoning legislation will come into effect in Ontario on April 12, 2018.
  • This tool has been used extensively by communities around the world, including in the United Kingdom and more than 800 municipalities in the United States.
  • Inclusionary zoning is one of the many actions Ontario has taken to address rising housing costs and help families access housing that meets their needs.
  • Ontario's Fair Housing Plan, announced in April 2017, includes 16 comprehensive measures to make housing more affordable for homebuyers and renters, while bringing stability to the real estate market and protecting the investment of homeowners.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“Inclusionary zoning will give municipalities across Ontario a new tool to create more affordable housing. When people have access to safe and affordable housing, they have a strong foundation for better education, health and employment opportunities.”

Peter Milczyn

Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy

“Inclusionary Zoning is an important tool that will help us increase the supply of affordable housing here in Toronto. This will help us ensure our future growth is more inclusive while maintaining our economic competitiveness. It is essential to keep our communities diverse and prosperous.”

Ana Bailão

Deputy Mayor of the City of Toronto and Toronto's Housing Advocate

“We are pleased to see in these Inclusionary Zoning regulations Ontario giving the municipalities options and flexibility to create affordable housing that is appropriate to local needs. The government listened to the community and ACORN looks forward to ensuring these new municipal tools will be used to create the desperately needed affordable housing in Ontario’s cities.”

Alejandra Ruiz-Vargas

Ontario ACORN Leader

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