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Government of ontario provides update on inclusionary zoning legislation

Government of ontario provides update on inclusionary zoning legislation

The shortage of afforable housing across Canadian municipalities is well documented. While the problem varies in severity from community to community, few municipalities in Canada can claim to have an adequate supply of affordable housing. In Ontario, like other jurisdictions in the United States, the province has taken steps to ameliorate the challenge via inclusionary zoning legislation. On December 8th, 2016, Bill 7, the Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 was given Royal Assent. The Act provides Ontario municipalities with the option to require developers to include affordable housing units as part of residential developments. This measure, known as inclusionary zoning, is intended to achieve the following outcomes:  
 
  • Increase the supply of affordable housing that serves the needs of low- to moderate-income families and individuals
  • Create inclusive and integrated communities
  • Municipalities can tailor inclusionary zoning to help them meet affordable housing objectives and targets set out in their housing and homelessness plans and official plans
 
 
While municipalities and developers eagerly await the final regulation that will outline inclusionary zoning rules and processes, the province issued the following update on the Promoting Affordable Housing Act:
 
Our government is focused on increasing the supply of affordable housing in Ontario communities.
 
This past winter, as part of our Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy, we passed the Promoting Affordable Housing Act. The Act will help improve access to suitable and affordable housing and modernize the social housing system.
 
The Act sets up the enabling framework for inclusionary zoning which will empower municipalities to require affordable housing in new developments. Municipalities choosing to move forward would outline their requirements for inclusionary zoning in official plan policies and zoning by-laws.
 
Inclusionary zoning is one of many important tools which will create more housing options for Ontarians. It is a proven tool that can result in meaningful increases in the supply of affordable housing for low- to moderate-income families and individuals. Inclusionary zoning can also lead to more integrated and inclusive communities. Our neighbourhoods are stronger and more vital when they include a mix of people who are able to choose where they live from a range of housing. When people have stable, affordable places they can call home, it opens up possibilities for better education, health, and work. 
 
We have consulted extensively on inclusionary zoning with municipalities, the private sector and housing advocates and will continue this important dialogue over the coming months. Following the introduction of the Promoting Affordable Housing Act, we held consultations for potential regulations which would provide interested municipalities with the framework to implement in their own communities. The comment period on these proposals ran from May 18 to August 16, 2016.
 
We’ll continue to seek feedback on proposed regulations by posting them on the Environmental Registry in early 2017.
 
- Ministry of Housing