Wood Bull Blog

Province Introduces Legislation to Increase Affordable Housing

May 20, 2016

On May 18, 2016, the Province introduced the Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 (the “Act”).  The purpose of the Act is to increase access to affordable housing in Ontario.  If passed, the Act would amend the Planning Act, the Development Charges Act, the Housing Services Act and the Residential Tenancies Act

The amendments to the Planning Act would allow municipalities to adopt official plan policies and pass zoning by-laws with respect to inclusionary zoning.  Inclusionary zoning would allow municipalities to require residential development proposals to include:

  • a specified number of affordable housing units
  • requirements to maintain the affordable housing units for a specified period of time
  • requirements that affordable housing units be leased or sold at the rent or price determined under the by-law or by regulation

Municipalities could require owners of inclusionary zoning units to enter into agreements to be registered on title to ensure the units remain affordable.  However, municipalities would be restricted from using Section 37 (density bonusing), in addition to inclusionary zoning provisions unless permitted by regulation.

Ontario Municipal Board appeals of official plan policies and zoning by-laws concerning inclusionary zoning would be prohibited except by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. 

Until August 16, 2016, stakeholders may submit comments regarding the Act to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by email at inclusionaryzoning@ontario.ca.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's news release and other background information can be found here.

Author(s): Peter Gross

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