Municipalities Can Now Require Affordable Units in New Residential Developments

April 11, 2018

From a Government of Ontario news release: 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.

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