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Ontario announces Inclusionary Zoning framework

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Ontario government recently announced details of its Inclusionary Zoning framework as part of a draft regulation that would allow municipalities to require the inclusion of affordable housing units in new development projects.

“Creating more government-mandated affordable housing units should not come at the expense of housing affordability. OHBA has been supportive of a partnership model where the costs of delivering mandated units are shared via a partnership model between government and the industry,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), in a press release. “The proposed framework announced by the province recognizes that in order for our industry to come to the table and build affordable units, there has to be a package of offsets and incentives, such as waiving or reducing development charges, parking requirements or cash-in-lieu of parkland fees for inclusionary zoning to be successful.”

Inclusionary Zoning is a planning tool that is used in American cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, and is supported by financial and planning incentives in these jurisdictions. Successful inclusionary programs in U.S. cities provide planning and financial support to ensure affordable housing does not undermine housing affordability for the market units.

“The proposed provincial framework is a partnership model, but we are disappointed that the framework falls short of an equal 50/50 sharing of the costs to build these government-mandated units,” added Vaccaro.

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