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Municipal Guide for Facilitating Affordable Housing

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This guide is intended as a general overview. It does not include all details and does not take into account local facts and circumstances. It also reflects laws and practices that are subject to change.

Municipalities are responsible for making their own decisions and for complying with any applicable legislation. For these reasons, the guide should not be relied on as a substitute for professional or legal advice in connection with any particular matter.

We suggest early liaison with staff from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and the Ministry of Housing. We also suggest speaking with other municipalities where appropriate. Finally, we strongly recommend consulting with your own legal advisors or other experts when appropriate.

The Ministry does not specifically endorse the approach taken in any of the case studies cited or content of the external links contained in this document.

For the purposes of this document, affordable housing generally means housing that has rents that are at or below average market rent for the area in which it is located and which does not receive ongoing government financial subsidies.   

Introduction

Purpose of the guide

Municipalities in Ontario work hard to make their communities attractive places where individuals and families of all incomes can live, work and play. To help those in need, municipalities often develop strategies and implement initiatives to foster the development of affordable housing. District Social Services Administration Boards (DSSABs) also play a significant role in providing affordable housing and are encouraged to work with their constituent municipalities to this end, where appropriate.

Municipalities, DSSABs, non-profit housing providers, builders and developers may find this guide useful. It guide highlights initiatives of Ontario municipalities to promote the development of affordable housing. Some of these municipal initiatives were part of broader provincial initiatives, while others were developed locally.  

It is intended as a source of inspiration and ideas and not as a step-by-step implementation manual. Municipalities are encouraged to do their own due diligence in considering how a potential initiative would work locally. Each municipality will likely adopt a different “bundle” of affordable housing initiatives that suits their unique needs and circumstances. When developing affordable housing initiatives, municipalities are encouraged to refer to various provincial and municipal framework documents, such as the updated Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy; the Provincial Policy Statement; the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017; the Housing Policy Statement; and their own 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan or that of their respective DSSAB.  As always, it remains a municipal responsibility to ensure there is sufficient legal authority for undertaking a proposed initiative.

The Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs provide housing, planning, financial, and local government advisory services to municipalities, primarily through the ministries’ municipal services offices (MSOs). Municipalities and DSSABs can obtain practical guidance on the implementation of legislative frameworks related to affordable housing, such as the Municipal Act or the Planning Act; best practices for implementing housing policies and programs; the use of financial tools for affordable housing; and the building of capacity for an integrated approach to affordable housing across municipal departments.

Find a Municipal Service Office in your area.

The guide is divided into two sections: Municipal Initiatives to Promote Affordable Housing Opportunities and Case Studies. The first section provides an overview of potential municipal initiatives while the second provides specific examples of how some municipalities have implemented these initiatives. Initiatives in the areas of Financial Incentives; Community and Land Use Planning Practices; and Building Partnerships, Programs and Education are highlighted.

Municipal initiatives to promote affordable housing opportunities

Financial incentives

Establish affordable housing funds

A municipality may establish funds for various affordable housing purposes, including a reserve fund to meet anticipated or contingent future needs related to maintaining housing facilities, and a fund for affordable housing lending. An affordable housing reserve fund is an account set up by a municipality to set aside and accrue funds for various affordable housing initiatives.

There are different ways to set up and use affordable housing funds, and more than one such fund may be created. For example, some municipalities may create one affordable housing reserve fund for new affordable housing and one for existing affordable housing. Municipalities can also leverage their reserve or other funds by creating partnerships with other organizations to develop or redevelop affordable housing.  

Municipalities may consider using affordable housing funds to lend to non-commercial housing providers in certain circumstances to help them repair their existing housing stock. They may also wish to establish a loan fund to make loans for affordable housing development. While reserve or other funds alone may not be the solution to every existing housing challenge, they help municipalities advance their affordable housing solutions.   

Most reserve funds in Ontario are discretionary because it is the municipality that decides to establish the fund and how it is to be used (these are sometimes called discretionary reserve funds).

If a municipality wants to create an affordable housing reserve or other fund, it may want to set out a clear process for administering the fund. Elements that could be addressed include:

  • the collection of contributions
  • intended uses of the fund
  • how council or a delegated authority will approve uses of the fund 

Adopt property tax policies that promote affordable housing

Rental buildings with seven or more units – such as apartment buildings – fall into the multi-residential property class. These types of buildings are often subject to a higher municipal property tax rate than the rate for the residential property class (which generally includes condominiums and single-family dwellings). This may affect the affordability of the multi-residential units.

Municipalities can consider reducing the property tax rate on multi-residential properties as a general incentive to encourage rental affordability. This can be done by lowering the tax burden of the multi-residential property class by providing a tax rate for that class closer to or equal to the rate of the residential property class.

Until recently, municipalities also had the option to tax new multi-residential buildings at a rate similar to other residential properties. Many municipalities have adopted this approach. However, to ensure a consistent approach across the province, the government will make this lower tax level mandatory for all new multi-residential properties with building permits taken out on or after April 20, 2017. This measure will support the development of new purpose-built rental housing, and in turn, improve housing affordability in the rental market.

The change will not result in any loss of existing municipal tax revenues, as it will apply only to newly constructed properties using the same tax rate that would have applied if they had been developed as condominiums.

For more information about tax ratios and property tax rate reductions, please refer to the Municipal Act, City of Toronto Act  (for the City of Toronto) and the Assessment Act.


What’s new: Improving fairness in the property taxation of rental buildings

The 2017 Ontario Budget announced the provincial government’s intent to improve fairness in the property taxation of rental buildings.  

The property tax levied on owners of multi-residential apartment buildings is generally reflected in rents paid by tenants.  This has implications for rental affordability, as the average municipal property tax burden on apartment buildings is more than double that of other residential properties, such as condominiums.  This higher tax burden is particularly concerning given the lower average incomes of tenants in apartment buildings.  

As a first step in addressing concerns, the provincial government has frozen the municipal property tax burden for multi-residential properties in communities where these taxes are high.  A review of the potential implications of multi-residential property taxation on rent affordability is also underway.  As part of this review, the government is consulting with affected stakeholders, including municipalities, tenants and apartment building owners. 

Based on early feedback received during this review, the government has ensured that new multi-residential apartment buildings will be taxed in a way that aligns with the taxation of other residential properties to support and encourage the development of new purpose built rental units. 


Provide reductions or exemptions from municipal fees for affordable housing projects

Municipalities may have a number of levies, fees and charges that developers pay when building new residential projects such as:

  • development charges
  • water and sewer connection fees
  • engineering fees
  • cash in lieu of parkland dedication
  • planning and development     
  • application fees
  • building permit fees

These fees are part of the cost of constructing residential projects. Municipalities can consider their options to reduce or exempt some or all of these fees for affordable housing. Generally, exemptions or waivers are paid for out of general funds.

A municipality’s ability to grant reductions or exemptions from municipal fees and charges will depend on its financial resources, local conditions and legal considerations.

For example, development charges, which are governed by the Development Charges Act, 1997, help municipalities pay for the increased infrastructure required for additional services arising from development. However, if the municipality exempts a type of development from development charges, funds may still be needed for necessary growth-related infrastructure, such as new roads or additional water and wastewater capacity. These funds would likely be provided out of general funds. Generally, the Development Charges Act provides that a municipality cannot exempt a type of development from development charges and make up the shortfall by increasing the development charges on other types of developments.   

DSSABs are encouraged to work with their member municipalities to take advantage of the provision of reductions or exemptions from municipal fees that may be available for affordable housing projects.


What’s new: Secondary units

If proclaimed, provisions in Ontario’s Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 would amend the Development Charges Act, 1997 to require municipalities to exempt development charges on secondary units in new residential development as prescribed.  This can help reduce the cost of constructing secondary units, thereby helping to increase the stock of new, more affordable rental units in otherwise single family homes.  


Provide homeownership down payment assistance for moderate-income renters

When purchasing a home, homebuyers generally need at least 5% of the purchase price as a down payment. In certain cases, lenders may offer prospective homebuyers an alternative to coming up with the required down payment, such as lending the down payment in exchange for a higher mortgage rate. There are risks, however, for both lenders and borrowers with such mortgages. From the lender’s perspective, it may be easier for the borrower to default if the borrower has little of their own money in the property.  Conversely, from the borrower’s perspective, they have little equity cushion if home prices fall at a time when they need to sell their home.  

Municipalities may have moderate-income households that do not have the required down payment but have the ability to afford the ongoing costs of homeownership. While municipalities may face the risks described above, they may still want to encourage some of these households to move along the housing continuum by offering down payment assistance for purchasers of affordable housing.  As part of developing a down payment assistance program, municipalities may consider:

  • the types of dwellings that could be funded by the program (e.g. maximum size and price)
  • maximum down payment assistance (e.g. percentage of home price and maximum amount)
  • household income
  • other measures to minimize risk

Municipal homeownership assistance programs may assist a specific niche of moderate-income households: those who not have the necessary down payment to purchase even modest homes in their community but who can afford ongoing mortgage payments and the other ongoing costs of homeownership, such as property taxes and utilities. A further benefit of homeownership programs is that they increase the supply of available rental stock as assisted households move out of their rental units and into their own homes.

Support accessibility changes in existing homes occupied by low-income households

Helping people with affordable housing can involve more than improving the supply of housing stock and expanding the use of rent supplement programs. It can also involve helping low-income seniors and persons with disabilities  improve their existing housing conditions including:

  • replacing regular door handles with an automatic door opener
  • adding handrails on both sides of a staircase and outside steps
  • installing ramps
  • building a walk-in shower
  • lowering kitchen counters

Assisting low-income individuals with accessibility modifications allows them to continue to live independently in their own homes. It also increases a municipality’s supply of accessible housing.  

In developing home modification assistance programs, municipalities may consider consulting local service delivery organizations, such as Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), Community Care Access Centers (CCACs) or local accessibility advisory committees. This will help them take advantage of these organizations’ knowledge, experience and insight.  

As well as consulting with other organizations, municipalities may review local accessibility plans. These plans may describe municipal measures to remove barriers to people with disabilities in the areas of customer service, transit, employment, information and communication, in addition to ensuring that the design of public spaces and the built environment takes into account accessibility concerns.

Develop housing allowance programs and rent supplement programs

Municipalities may develop portable housing allowance programs as well as rent supplement programs to help people find affordable housing.

A housing allowance is a payment made by government to a renter household in need of affordable housing to help pay their rent. Households who qualify for such allowances can use the money to stay in their current housing, or to move to another rental home of their choice in the private market. The housing allowance is “portable” because it is not tied to a rental property but can be applied to another location should the household move. It gives households autonomy to choose where they live. Some municipalities work with the Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Finance to achieve more integrated program delivery. This can enable clients to receive their social assistance funding with their housing allowance directly from the Ministry of Finance.

Rent supplement programs help tenants to rent in the private market. Some of these programs use a rent-geared-to-income calculation. The supplement is provided directly to the landlord by the local authority. Best practice is to establish clear rules for setting allowable rent levels, income limits and other eligibility requirements. Households who move into rent supplement units sign a standard lease with the landlord. The landlord collects rent, maintains the building and provides all tenants with the same level of customer service and unit maintenance.  

Offering these programs can have many community benefits including:

  • better use of existing housing stock, rather than investing in developing new housing stock (rent supplements generally work best in communities with higher vacancy rates and those experiencing “Boom-Bust” economic cycles; where vacancy rates are low most of the time, it may be necessary to develop new stock)
  • creating new affordable housing in privately-owned rental buildings that have vacancies
  • achieving income mixing within the community
  • expediting the provision of housing assistance to those in need

Community and land use planning practices

Maintain a list of priorities and suitable properties for new affordable housing developments on municipally-owned lands

The term “shovel-ready” describes a construction project located on municipally-owned lands where project planning, land acquisition, land use approvals, architectural work, engineering work and financing have advanced to the stage where construction can quickly begin.

Municipalities may consider maintaining an inventory of municipal affordable housing proposals that have been planned, approved and cost-estimated as well as an inventory of surplus municipally-owned land. This will allow them to take advantage of emerging opportunities such as partnering with private and non-profit organizations or participating in provincial or federal government housing programs to develop new affordable housing.  

Encourage the conversion to new residential units

Over time, municipalities may experience a change in local demographics that affects their housing markets. For example, some municipalities may see an inflow of young professionals attracted by employment opportunities while others may see growth in an aging local population that has very specific housing needs. To adapt to these changing local conditions, municipalities may need to invest in programs that create a better match between housing supply and demand.  

If a municipality has a “mismatched” housing market, where what is available does not match the needs of those seeking housing, it may consider adopting various conversion initiatives. For example, the municipality may develop incentive programs to encourage property owners to convert vacant, unused space in non-residential properties (e.g. old school buildings, churches, hotels) into new affordable residential rental units to benefit low- and moderate-income tenant households.  Alternatively, the municipality may take action to reconfigure some of the municipally-owned housing stock to better meet local needs of current and future residents.

Municipalities often make reconfiguration and conversion decisions for municipally-owned assets part of their asset management planning. The asset management planning process allows municipalities to examine existing housing assets in greater detail, identify asset needs and opportunities, and determine the best actions going forward.


What’s new: Inclusionary zoning

If proclaimed, provisions in Ontario’s Promoting Affordable Housing Act, 2016 will amend the Planning Act to give municipalities the option of requiring affordable housing units as part of the zoning for residential development. Prior to proceeding with regulations, the  government would  consult on proposed regulations, including through a posting on the Environmental Registry. The inclusionary zoning framework, if proclaimed, would provide that: 

  • the starting point for developing a municipal inclusionary zoning program would be with a Municipal Assessment Report. This report would help to establish a basis for municipal inclusionary zoning programs and foster support and awareness within the community. A municipal assessment report must be prepared prior to adopting Official Plan policies for inclusionary zoning, subject to any criteria that may be set out in regulation, and is to be reviewed every five years
  • while inclusionary zoning by-laws cannot be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, except by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, appeals of typical zoning matters, such as building height and density, are permitted even when used as measures and incentives
  • municipalities may permit affordable housing units to be located on another site, subject to restrictions set out in regulation
  • municipalities cannot accept cash in lieu of affordable units
  • municipalities may use section 37 of the Planning Act in combination with inclusionary zoning, subject to restrictions set out in regulation
  • municipalities must establish procedures for the administration of affordable housing units, so that they remain affordable over the long term, and for reporting on affordable housing units

Explore innovative affordable housing policies

One way of developing innovative affordable housing such initiatives is to look at what other jurisdictions are doing. In accessing the suitability of initiatives from other jurisdictions, it may be helpful to consider the extent to which the jurisdiction has a legislative and regulatory environment that is similar to Ontario’s.

  • Some examples of potential initiatives that municipalities may want to consider for suitability in their local context could include: streamlining affordable housing project applications through a priority review process
  • stimulating developer interest in rehabilitation, land acquisition, and affordable housing through initiatives that recognize the increased assessment value of  the newly developed property
  • creating an affordable housing development corporation.

Height and density bonusing

Section 37 of the Planning Act provides an incentive-based system that enables municipalities to authorize increases in the height and density of development not otherwise permitted by a zoning by-law, in return for the provision of facilities, services or matters specified in the by-law. This is typically referred to as “height and density bonusing”. In order to use Section 37, a municipality must include policies in its Official Plan that allow for increases in height and density. Not every municipality will have economic conditions suitable for height and density bonusing.

Municipalities located in high-growth areas with large-scale developments generally have greater opportunities to enter into Section 37 agreements with developers than municipalities located in lower growth areas.  DSSABs are encouraged to work with their member municipalities to take advantage of height and density bonusing opportunities. 

Identify and modify municipal policies that may create barriers to affordable housing

Municipalities may have policies that unintentionally act as barriers to the development of new affordable housing. It is important for a municipality to periodically review its existing policies from the perspective of affordable housing developers to ensure that they continue to support affordable housing development.

For example, the following municipal policies could be perceived as barriers to affordable housing:

  • requirements for fences or walls around the new non-profit housing property
  • unusual restrictions on housing projects targeted to low-income families and individuals
  • zoning by-laws that restrict development of certain types of projects (e.g. group homes)
  • parking requirements that do not consider lower car ownership rates among low-income households
  • more onerous requirements for public consultation for affordable housing development proposals

Work with community groups to identify underused lands suitable for affordable housing

There are often lost economic and social opportunities associated with unused land in a community. These lands can be municipally-owned (e.g. surplus lands) or privately-owned. Identifying and encouraging the development of suitable land parcels into affordable housing could benefit many groups: the municipality, property owners, local businesses, existing residents and new residents.

For example, in communities where the congregation base is decreasing, faith organizations may work with local municipalities to convert underused land into residential affordable housing.

Turning an empty lot into affordable rental housing can mean a greater assessment base and more efficient use of existing municipal infrastructure (e.g. public transit) for the municipality. For the property owner - it can mean a new revenue stream; for local businesses – it can mean greater demand for goods and services; for existing residents – it can mean greater neighbourhood diversity; and for new residents – it can mean greater ability to take care of their health, food and transportation needs.

Incorporate affordable housing policies in municipal official plans

A municipal Official Plan outlines a municipal council’s vision for the future growth of the community. It is a policy framework to guide and manage the municipality’s physical development and the effects on the social, economic, and natural environments. Desired land use designations and allowable densities can have a significant impact on the availability of affordable housing in a municipality. In order to ensure that future development meets local needs, municipalities consult with members of the community when they develop or update their Official Plans.

Consistent with the housing policies in the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017, in developing their Official Plans, municipalities are to establish policies that promote a range and mix of housing options and employment opportunities. Municipalities must also identify affordable housing targets, identify mechanisms such as land use planning and financial tools to support the achievement of targets, and add provisions in their Official Plans regarding secondary units (e.g. basement apartments) and garden suites. 

Official Plan policies are implemented through zoning by-laws. Within three years after their Official Plans are updated, municipalities are required to update their zoning by-laws to conform with the updated Official Plan.  Local Housing and Homelessness Plans and housing strategies must be aligned and implemented through the Official Plan.

Adopt affordable housing Community Improvement Plans

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a planning and economic development tool that allows a municipality to offer incentives in order to encourage private sector investment and rehabilitation in a defined area of the municipality. Some municipalities designate all municipal areas as Community Improvement Project areas.

The legislative authority for CIPs and associated incentives is derived from the Planning Act. Where there are Official Plan policies in effect relating to community improvement plans, local municipalities and prescribed upper-tier municipalities may designate community improvement project areas by by-law and develop and provide for CIPs that may include the provision of affordable housing. Upper-tier municipalities (generally regions or counties) can also participate in lower tier CIP’s, whether or not the upper tier is prescribed. The Minister of Municipal Affairs approves a CIP.

There are a few municipalities in Ontario that have developed Community Improvement Plans to facilitate affordable housing opportunities in their communities.

Adopt Community Planning Permit Systems

Ontario municipalities can use the Community Planning Permit System (CPPS - also known as the Development Permit System) within all or parts of a municipality through the adoption of Official Plan policies and the passing of a Community Planning Permit (CPP) by-law. Together, the Official Plan policies and CPP by-law set out the requirements describing how the CPPS will be used in that local municipality.

A CPPS has a number of features that can benefit the development of affordable housing, including:

  • the integration of zoning, site plan and minor variance approvals into one application and approval process
  • the provision of more certainty and cost savings through early community participation, upfront development rules and, once the system is in place, the elimination of third party appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board from council decisions on an application for a development permit
  • the provision of a more flexible approval process whereby municipalities can incorporate a specified range of variation for development standards

A CPP by-law is similar to an enhanced zoning by-law, which municipalities can tailor to meet their specific needs. While it includes the traditional features normally associated with zoning by-laws, such as certainty of use and development standards, municipalities can also include enhanced features as part of its CPPS. Enhanced features could include a range of conditions for making decisions, the ability to identify discretionary uses (uses permitted if certain specified criteria are met), and the ability to incorporate a specified range of variation for development standards (such as density, height, setbacks).

Municipalities can implement the flexibility in height or density allowed through the CPPS to reflect a higher intensity of development, which may be permitted subject to specified conditions. Ontario Regulation 608/06 under the Planning Act outlines certain requirements relating to the use of conditions, including that the condition must be clear, precise and quantifiable, and must be reasonable for, and related to, the appropriate use of the land.

Conditions may include providing specified facilities or services in exchange for specified height and density. There needs to be a proportional relationship between the permitted density or height and the quantity or monetary value of the community benefit that must be provided, and this must be identified upfront in the CPP by‐law.

Establish a Municipal Services Corporation for Housing Development

Municipalities may establish municipal services corporations under the Municipal Act to provide almost any system, service or thing that a municipality itself can provide. Similarly, the City of Toronto can establish city services corporations under the City of Toronto Act. There is a regulatory framework that applies to these corporations.

Despite the general ban against municipalities providing financial assistance to commercial enterprises (sometimes called “bonusing”), municipalities may provide assistance to municipal/city services corporations in certain circumstances. Recent regulatory changes have now made it possible for municipalities and the City of Toronto to provide financial assistance to municipal/city services corporations that help provide affordable housing.  

Building partnerships, programs and education

Create an advisory committee to support municipality’s affordable housing efforts

An Affordable Housing Advisory Committee is typically a committee of community housing stakeholders that advises a municipality on different affordable housing matters. Committee members may include renters and homeowners; for-profit and non-profit developers; community agencies; planners; finance experts; lawyers; council representatives; municipal staff; DSSAB representatives; representatives from groups with a particular interest in affordable housing such as Indigenous or seniors’ communities or representatives of those experiencing domestic violence, substance abuse or mental health issues; and other local experts. The exact composition of the committee will vary from one municipality to the next, depending on local needs and conditions.    

The municipality may consider setting up such a committee to seek input on how to develop and implement actions to address local affordable housing needs. A committee may also be tasked with conducting research studies and developing recommendations for increasing future affordable housing opportunities.

Facilitating affordable housing opportunities is a complex task; tapping into knowledge, experience, insight and entrepreneurial ideas that exist in the community is desirable.

Work with developers who build affordable housing

Municipalities may consider partnering with affordable housing developers that build new homes and multi-residential condominiums for lower income and moderate-income families. Making it easier for people to become a homeowner is increasingly being viewed as a community benefit because it frees up rental units and provides long-term financial sustainability to residents.

The price of a home is generally influenced by construction costs, development costs and the cost to acquire suitable land. Any decrease in these costs may contribute to a home becoming more affordable. Municipalities have been contributing to the work of organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Options for Homes by donating surplus land or selling surplus land at a reduced price. Municipalities may be able to improve the economics of development and thus lower the point at which a potential affordable housing development becomes economically viable by making use of a municipal housing facilities by-law.   

In certain cases, to help benefit low- and moderate-income households, municipalities have also provided relief to these affordable ownership developments in the form of a reduction in development charges. Affordable ownership housing developers, which are often non-profit corporations, sell their units to low-income and moderate-income households at cost (i.e. no profit added).

Affordable ownership projects increase the municipal tax base and promote community diversity. In many instances, the qualitative and quantitative benefits of having affordable ownership developments in the community may outweigh the costs of municipal supports to facilitate such developments.

Partner with sector organizations to develop housing options for seasonal workers, students and other mobile populations

Certain economic and demographic changes can result in a tighter local housing market with rising home prices, rent increases and declining housing options for lower-income residents. For instance:

  • a large proportion of seasonal workers who serve cottage and resort residents (e.g. construction workers and service industry workers)
  • growing numbers of out-of-town workers, such as miners in northern communities competing with lower-income community residents for the limited supply of rental accommodation
  • a growing post-secondary population (i.e. students) that affects the supply and cost of existing rental units throughout the entire municipality

Such local conditions can also affect general housing affordability and availability for those at other income levels as well. Local Housing and Homelessness Plans may provide guidance on how to address the situation.   

In such a market, local employers’ ability to attract and retain skilled professionals may be limited because the housing market has too few suitable options for them.

In some cases, municipalities and sector organizations may consider working together to develop mutually-beneficial economic and social solutions for short- and medium-term housing needs in the community. For example, they may partner to develop a comprehensive affordable housing strategy.  

Also, municipalities may choose to explore partnering with the mining and forestry sectors to facilitate a more sustainable approach to meeting the longer-term housing needs of municipalities once the industries no longer require the housing units for their workers.

Create arrangements to provide affordable housing through Municipal Housing Capital Facilities Agreements

In Ontario, all municipalities can now enter into Municipal Housing Capital Facilities Agreements with any person and provide financial incentives to facilitate the creation of affordable municipal housing facilities.

Municipalities can create arrangements with property owners, other municipalities or organizations to develop and maintain affordable municipal rental housing through these agreements. Municipalities and property owners can agree to engage in specific actions such as building, operating or maintaining affordable housing facilities. For example, the municipality may enter into an agreement with the owner of a specific property where municipal housing capital facilities are located, and in addition to payments the municipality could provide development charge exemptions and full or partial property tax exemptions on certain conditions. The property owner might agree to build, maintain and operate the property as affordable housing for the municipality for a defined time period, and follow the municipality’s policies regarding tenant eligibility.  

Other municipal incentives for municipal housing capital facilities may take the form of providing the following at no cost or less than market rates: giving or lending money; giving, lending, leasing or selling property; guaranteeing borrowing; and providing the services of employees of the municipality to help operate the facility. Property tax reductions may also be provided.  

Prior to entering into Municipal Housing Capital Facilities Agreements with property owners, the municipality must pass a municipal housing capital facilities by-law. This by-law must contain a definition of “affordable housing”, policies regarding public eligibility for the housing units, and a summary of the provisions that the municipal housing capital facilities agreements must contain.

Increase community education and awareness regarding affordable housing

Sometimes, when an affordable or non-profit housing development is proposed in a community, existing residents may raise objections. Some objections may be the result of community residents holding negative stereotypes about people who live in affordable housing (i.e. Not in My Backyard syndrome). This may cause developers and municipal staff to have to defend the proposed affordable housing development. 

Municipalities may consider developing a proactive awareness campaign about building inclusive communities in response to “Not in My Backyard” syndrome. A municipality’s awareness campaign could contain information about affordable housing myths. For example, some residents may think that more affordable housing in the municipality will result in more crime or lower property values. Studies have shown that the sense of pride and ownership that residents have with respect to their communities have far more significant effects on crime than the residents’ income levels.

An awareness campaign could also emphasize the positive effects affordable housing developments have on communities, such as attracting new employees and businesses, improving existing housing options and increasing the municipal tax base.

Strengthen support services that help vulnerable residents with their housing needs

Having a municipal Affordable Housing Office or a Housing Resource Centre can make a difference in helping households in need find and maintain affordable housing.

Some municipalities provide such services in-house while other municipalities flow funding to non-profit service agencies to provide the service. The main purpose of these centres is to provide free information, assistance, and support to people who need housing and to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  

Some municipal examples include:

  • The City of Cornwall created a “one-window” access for clients seeking social assistance and housing and homelessness supports at their Housing Access Centre.  All housing programs can be accessed at the same location as Ontario Works and Child Care.  This helps city staff give clients a “warm hand off” to an appropriate organization, depending on their needs                     
  • The City of Kawartha Lakes created a Housing Help Centre to assist clients across the service area that includes Haliburton County.  The service manager used a Lean Six Sigma methodology in creating and designing a new service delivery model with integrated housing and homelessness services.  This methodology optimized the municipal service delivery process by enhancing access to services, providing a more customer-focused approach, and ensuring data integrity (no duplications, errors and omissions).  In 2014 the actual outcomes for the service manager were valued at over $6 million, including financial savings, cost avoidances, and productivity improvements
  • Northumberland County is one of the first service managers to integrate housing and homelessness services and provide direct access through Community Service Hubs (CSHs). The County’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan identifies that community hubs allow residents to access a wider array of support services in their local communities

There is merit in considering the creation of a one-window affordable housing office. Residents can then access affordable housing listings, receive help in maintaining their existing housing (e.g. financial assistance for rent arrears) and learn about their rights as tenants all in one place. They can also find out about the different community resources that exist.

Having a municipal Affordable Housing Office or a Housing Resource Centre can make a difference in helping households in need find and maintain affordable housing. Some municipalities provide such services in-house while other municipalities flow funding to non-profit service agencies to provide the service. The main purpose of these centres is to provide free information, assistance and support to people who need housing and to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.   

Case studies

Introduction

The following case studies illustrate how Ontario municipalities are using different affordable housing initiatives to meet their local housing needs. They are organized into three groups:

  1. Financial incentives
  2. Community and land use planning practices
  3. Building partnerships, programs and education

Case studies: Financial incentives

Development charges – City of Ottawa

When municipalities are growing, they generally need to build additional infrastructure to accommodate that growth. This infrastructure includes new roads, transit, libraries and water and wastewater treatment services.

Development charges can be used to pay for this new infrastructure to service new growth.

Municipalities can provide exemptions or reduce development charges for developers of new affordable rental housing. The municipality cannot exempt a type of development from development charges and recoup the funds by increasing the charges on other types of developments.

Ottawa provides an exemption from development charges for not-for-profit housing providers or charitable developers who are building new affordable rental housing. The city requires such developers to provide proof of their non-profit or charitable status in order to receive this development charge exemption. The city’s development charges by-law provides for the exemption as follows:

“The following lands are exempt from development charges:
(ix) A residential use building erected and owned by non-profit housing, provided that satisfactory evidence is provided to the Treasurer that the residential use building is intended for persons of low or modest incomes and that the dwelling units are being made available at values that are initially and will continue to be below current market levels in the City “

Developers of affordable housing in Ottawa who qualify for the development charges exemption are still required to pay the transit component of the city’s development charges.

There are a number of municipalities in Ontario that exempt newly constructed affordable housing from development charges, including the City of Hamilton, the County of Peterborough, and Norfolk County.  Hamilton currently has affordable housing exemptions in its development charge and parkland dedication by-laws, but is exploring other approaches that can secure the investment of incentives to achieve affordability over time.

Reduced parkland dedication and parking requirements – various municipalities

One component of the cost of building a residential dwelling is municipal fees and charges.     

A number of Ontario municipalities have attempted to lessen the burden of development costs for developers of affordable housing and non-profit housing providers by reducing parkland dedication/cash-in-lieu and parking requirements with the view that the savings would be passed on to the tenants. 

For example, developers often have to set aside a certain amount of land for parkland dedication or pay cash-in-lieu of parkland dedication to the municipality. This may create an additional cost for developers of residential housing because they either have to give up a portion of land to the municipality or provide a monetary payment. Several municipalities in Ontario have introduced affordable housing provisions in their parkland dedication by-laws as follows:

  • Hamilton’s by-law requires the transferring of land for parks or other public recreational purposes as a condition of development or redevelopment. However, this by-law does not apply where development or redevelopment is for eligible affordable housing projects
  • Orillia’s parkland dedication by-law exempts not-for-profit ownership and affordable rental housing developments from making a parkland contribution. In order to qualify for this exemption, the property owner must demonstrate that the proposed development meets the definition of “not-for-profit” and that its units classify as “affordable housing”

Municipalities will of course want to consider their long-term parkland needs and the extent to which there are existing parks close to the proposed affordable development before considering a reduction in the parkland dedication.      

In new housing developments, developers are required to meet certain parking provisions as determined by the municipality’s zoning by-law. Parking requirements can represent a significant cost element to the developer, particularly in cases where parking is provided underground. New housing developments that are located in areas where good public transportation facilities are available are strong candidates for affordable housing. Generally, lower-income families who live in areas served by public transit tend to own fewer cars and use transit in greater numbers. Therefore, a municipality may want to reduce parking requirements for housing projects where transit is available.  

In 2005, the City of Mississauga commissioned a study about parking demand for public and private non-profit housing. The study concluded that for certain providers of non-profit housing and certain built forms, there were fewer parking spaces needed for both residents and visitors than that required by the city’s zoning by-law. In the same year, Mississauga city council approved reduced parking guidelines for selected types of public and private non-profit housing developments.

Reduced parking requirements for certain types of developments permit developers to only construct the number of parking spaces that are needed. The City of Brantford and the City of Ottawa also have similar parking policies for affordable housing developments.

Case studies: Community and land use planning

Supporting the creation of garden suites – City of Greater Sudbury

The City of Greater Sudbury has provisions in its Official Plan and zoning by-law to allow a garden suite as a temporary structure on a lot that already has an existing permanent residence. Over time, the city has approved a number of garden suites for a period of ten years, with a possibility of extension. These garden suites are listed in the City of Greater Sudbury zoning by-law.

Garden suites are portable, single-detached residential structures containing a bathroom, a kitchen and a sleeping area. They do not have a basement. Water, sewer and hydro are generally obtained by connecting these services at the principal permanent residence.

Garden suites in the City of Greater Sudbury are mainly used by family members who require some level of support.

If the city approves a property owner’s application to rezone for temporary use and issues a building permit for a garden suite, the property owner must build the structure according to the rules for accessory buildings contained in the zoning by-law. The city has a fee for temporary garden suite zoning applications.

While the city’s Official Plan allows it to enter into agreements with property owners in regard to installation, location, maintenance, occupancy, and the removal of garden suites, the City of Greater Sudbury has generally not entered into such agreements in the past.

In addition to affordable housing benefits, there are a number of other positive social and financial effects associated with garden suites as follows:

  • family members can provide support, companionship and security to the family members residing in the garden suite while allowing both households to have independence and privacy
  • because of their temporary nature, garden suites do not alter the existing character of the neighbourhood
  • garden suites increase neighbourhood density and make the provision of municipal services more cost-effective

In 2011, the then Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing amended the Planning Act to allow municipalities to increase the period that garden suites may be authorized under a temporary use by-law from a maximum of ten to twenty years. City of Greater Sudbury staff currently conduct annual reviews of each application for a temporary garden suite (including timing) on a case-by-case basis.

Adopting an affordable housing Community Improvement Plan and a municipal capital facilities by-law – City of Peterborough

The City of Peterborough is located 125 kilometres northeast of Toronto. It has a population of approximately 75,000 residents, with 35% over the age of 55.

In 2011, the city created Ontario’s first Affordable Housing Community Improvement Plan (CIP) to stimulate the development of affordable housing, including housing for seniors. The plan encourages the creation of affordable units by offering financial incentives to residential builders. Affordable housing can be created through new development, redevelopment, or conversion from a non-residential use. Affordable housing projects must be located within a defined CIP Project Area, which covers the majority of the city.

There are a number of financial incentive programs that are part of the city’s affordable housing CIP, including:

  • the Municipal Incentive Program: The City of Peterborough provides relief from planning application fees
  • the Affordable Housing Tax Increment Based Program: The city reimburses a portion of the municipal property tax increase resulting from higher assessment to owners of redeveloped properties. For the first five years, the grant is generally equivalent to 100 % +of the municipal tax increase with the owner gradually paying an increasing amount for the next five years

Proponents interested in developing affordable housing can apply for these CIP programs in the early stages of project development. A proponent may also be eligible for further incentives if the proponent enters into a Municipal Housing Facilities Agreement with the city. Municipal Housing Facilities Agreements contain the following:

  • affordability period for the project: The housing proponent must keep the rents affordable for 20 years, starting on the date of the first occupancy of a unit in the property
  • rents: The housing proponent must charge rents for each unit, including utilities, that are less than or equal to 90% of the most recently released Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation “average market rent” for the municipality for that unit size
  • process for income screening for new tenants: The proponent must have an income screening process and only rent to tenants with annual incomes below the permitted Maximum Household Income at the time the unit is first rented
  • description of municipal contributions: Provides details on municipal incentives

To scale up affordable housing initiatives and ensure that they are affordable and remain so, the city combines Municipal and Planning Act tools, specifically:

  • Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) - Planning Act, Section 28
  • Municipal Housing Facilities By-Law – Municipal Act, Section 110 General Powers to Make Grants – Municipal Act, section 107
  • Hazelbrae Place was the first housing project developed using the CIP and Municipal Housing Facilities initiatives. It is designated a Municipal Housing Facility. It opened its doors in 2013, and consists of 42 self-contained two-bedroom apartments for seniors. The property is situated in central Peterborough and is close to a seniors’ centre, parks, churches, and transit.  The development cost approximately $6 million. The City of Peterborough supported the project in the form of rebated fees, property tax reductions and capital grants. Specifically, the city:exempted it from property taxes for the first 10 years at an estimated cost of $460,000 in exchange for reducing rents to 90% of average market rent
  • will gradually phase in property tax increases over the following ten years at an estimated cost of $382,000
  • granted $300,000 to the housing provider
  • refunded the purchase price of city property in the amount of $140,000
  • rebated cash-in-lieu of parking payment in the amount of $65,000
  • rebated cash-in-lieu of parkland payment in the amount of $24,000
  • rebated the site plan application fee in the amount of $2,045

The project was built by the Moloney Project Development Corporation.  It is important to note that it is the first affordable housing project developed by a private developer within the Affordable Housing CIP, without the assistance of the Affordable Housing Programs. Municipal contributions to the project are summarized in the table below: 

Type of municipal contribution

Contribution

Affordable housing community improvement plan

Grant to offset planning application fees, parkland levies and/or forgiving or taking cash-in-lieu instead of parking

Tax increment grant

Municipal housing facilities by-law incentives

Tax exemption for the first ten years

Development charge relief

Grant from the Developing Opportunities for Ontario Renters (DOOR) program

Funding from capital reserves

Additional incentive from the city’s general property reserve

Refund for the purchase price of the city land to be developed as affordable housing

 

Total municipal contributions to the Hazelbrae project were approximately $1.6 million or $38,000 per unit, of which $1.3M was forgone city fees, charges, property sale proceeds and property taxes.

Subsequent to the development of Hazelbrae Place, other housing projects have been approved by city council including:

  • 65-unit Mount Community Center (conversion of former Sisters of Saint Joseph Convent into a mix of affordable housing, social services office, food and cultural meeting spaces)
  • 41-unit Knox Residence (conversion of former United Church).

Secondary units – City of Mississauga

The City of Mississauga is located in the Region of Peel, in the Greater Toronto area. With a population of approximately 714,000, Mississauga is Canada's sixth most populous municipality.  The city has a large urban centre and needs affordable housing.

In 2012, Planning Act amendments required all municipalities in Ontario to authorize secondary units (typically lower-level apartments) in detached, semi–detached and row houses, as well as in ancillary structures. Municipalities retained the ability to identify appropriate areas for second units, and to establish appropriate standards for second units.

The City of Mississauga researched the regulation of second units by establishing guiding principles, consulting with the public and drafting amendments to existing Official Plan policies, zoning regulations and licencing requirements.

In 2012, the municipality held a variety of consultations and televised public meetings about how best to regulate second units in the community. Ensuring the safety of second units and maintaining existing neighborhood character were recognized as main themes that needed to be respected as the city rolled out its Second Unit Licencing Program. Subsequently, Mississauga replaced its licensing program and put a registration program in place. Units are automatically registered when they meet Ontario Building Code or Fire Code standards and now just require registration. There is no charge for registration. 

In 2013, Mississauga city council approved a plan to permit second units where dwellings and properties could support them. To ensure that dwellings with second units met health, safety and property standards, the city required all second units to undergo fire and electrical safety inspections before being licensed.  In 2016, the city replaced the requirement for a license with an automatic registration system: units are automatically registered when they meet Ontario Building Code and Fire Code standards.     

To ensure that the existing neighborhood character is maintained, the city has introduced a number of second unit requirements including:

  • minimum setbacks for porches or decks in interior side yards at or below the first floor
  • minimum setbacks for new entrances, stairs, stairwells and retaining walls in interior side yards or rear yards
  • prohibiting new entrances facing a street for a second unit
  • establishing a maximum and minimum gross floor areas for a second unit
  • permitting only one second unit in a dwelling
  • requiring an on-site parking space for the second unit in addition to the parking for the dwelling

Property owners who already have a second unit or who wish to create a new second unit are required to obtain a second unit licence from the city. This includes obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, passing a Fire Inspection and an Electrical Safety inspection and making a licence application at the City’s Compliance and Licencing Office.

To inform property owners about the benefits of second units and about the steps for obtaining a licence, the City of Mississauga has created an educational campaign.

Mississauga’s Second Unit Licensing Program is now part of the city’s affordable housing strategy. Second units increase the supply of affordable rental housing within established residential neighborhoods. Second units also improve housing choices in areas with limited intensification potential. Finally, second units promote social diversity by allowing people from a wide range of economic levels and age groups to live in the same community.

Case studies: Building partnerships, programs and education 

Housing Development Corporation - London (HDC)

The Municipal Act and O. Reg. 599/06 provide that municipalities may establish a municipal services corporation to allow for innovative local partnerships and business solutions to provide services and facilities for its citizens, including low-cost, high quality affordable housing development.

In 2015, the City of London incorporated a municipal services corporation called the Housing Development Corporation, London (HDC) to provide flexibility to allow for innovative partnerships and business solutions that encourage more low-cost, high quality affordable housing development.

The intent of HDC is to centralize the knowledge, skills, expertise, and tools required to support sustainable housing development, inclusive of affordable housing, throughout the City of London and Middlesex County. HDC engages in a full range of services including development, new financial instruments, land acquisition and sale, affordable housing consultation and promotion with all partners and sectors.

The corporate objectives of HDC include:

  • assisting in addressing affordable housing needs of low-income households
  • engaging in housing development activities including but not limited to the design, financing, and construction management of housing
  • seeking out new resources, funding, and partnerships to support the housing stock needs of local low-income households
  • developing housing projects and/or programs to address affordable housing needs of local low-income households
  • promoting co-operation, partnerships and initiatives between community agencies, the private sector and governments to improve access to affordable housing stock for low-income households
  • receiving, purchasing, transferring, selling or disposing of any property necessary to attaining the objects of the Housing Development Corporation

By creating the HDC, the City of London strengthens its capacity to enhance and better utilize municipal incentives.   

This municipal services corporation is intended to enhance and better utilize municipal incentives and available federal, provincial, municipal and investor funding by bringing together governance tools, existing resources and knowledge to support sustainable development. The HDC role is to take a coordinated approach to the development of affordable housing and the deployment of related funding and resources.

In its first year of operation, HDC has been able to negotiate details such as additional units, the addition of units for persons with disabilities and an increase in the years of affordability.  

Read more about the creation of London’s Housing Development Corporation, and the Housing Development Corporation.

Facilitating new student rental housing developments – City of Barrie

The City of Barrie has a population of approximately 140,000 residents.

Barrie has a large student population: it is home to Georgian College's main campus and has over 10,000 full-time and 25,000 part-time students. As Georgian College continues to expand, the demand for student rental housing continues to increase.  This has affected the supply of available rental units and put upward pressure on rents.

The city wanted to stimulate the development of housing for students within reasonable walking distance to campus. Concentrating students close to the college, rather than throughout the city also has the benefit of freeing up available rental housing for non-students.

In its effort to better accommodate students close to campus, the city engaged the Town and Gown Committee. The Town and Gown Committee is an advisory committee that works to develop and enhance relationships and policies between the city, the college and community residents. Georgian College is an integral part of the committee. The college shared valuable information that allowed municipal staff to understand various student housing issues. The college also shared its student housing survey and expected enrollment growth information and provided tours of their on-campus student residences. 

As a result of discussions with the Town and Gown Committee, Barrie developed the Georgian College Neighborhood Strategy. The strategy has 4 pillars:

  1. to identify opportunities for the development of medium and high density housing for students in areas near Georgian College
  2. to facilitate the provision of student housing facilities throughout the Georgian College neighbourhood
  3. to ensure the safety of all forms of student housing and increase compliance with City by-laws and regulations
  4. to develop methods to improve communication and information sharing among Town and Gown partners including residents, landlords, students, Georgian College and the city

To move forward with the strategy, the city designated an area surrounding Georgian College as a Community Improvement Area and developed a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for the area. The Georgian Neighborhood CIP works by attracting private sector developers to develop multiple-unit rental housing for students in exchange for municipal support/financial incentives. To ensure that new rentals are indeed geared to students, the city requires that the apartments contain a minimum of four individual bedrooms sharing a common living room and kitchen area.

The city’s Development Services Department and Finance Department administers the Georgian Neighborhood CIP initiative. The initiative is funded from the general tax base. Property owners within the CIP area may apply for the following financial incentives:

  1. Application Fees and Building Permit Fees Grant
    The city provides a grant of up to 100 % of the cost of approved planning application fees relating to Official Plan amendments, rezoning, site plan approvals and Committee of Adjustment applications. The city also provides a grant towards payment of building permit fees for approved permits within the Community Improvement Project Area. The grant pays 25% for the first $25,000 and 50% for any amount above.  
  2. Tax Increment Based Grant
    The city provides a grant to property owners for the rehabilitation of under-used land and buildings if it results in additional multi-unit rental housing and increased assessment. The grant applies to properties where the improvements or redevelopment result in an increased assessment value of $100,000 or more. In the first year the grant is 100% of the gain in assessment. In subsequent years, the grant declines by 25% each year until it expires in year five.

In all cases, property owners are required to pay all applicable fees to the municipality at the time of application for the respective planning approval or permit. The municipality provides grants upon final inspection of the completed project, and when at least 50% occupancy is established.

In 2011, the City contributed $230,200 in financial support for the development of two student housing buildings under its Community Improvement Plan. This leveraged approximately $2 million in construction spending by the property owner. Each building has 16 units, including accessible units. Within each unit are 4 bedrooms with shared bathroom, living room, kitchen and laundry facilities. In total, the 2 buildings accommodate 128 students. The city’s financial support for this Community Improvement Plan was comprised of the following incentives:

  • tax increment based grant in the amount of $174,400 (paid over a 5-year period)
  • building permit fees grant in the amount of $40,400
  • planning application fees grant in the amount of $15,400

City staff conducts annual reviews on all CIPs in the City of Barrie (three in total) and report to council annually.     

For more information

Please contact the Municipal Services Office in your area:

Municipal Services Office – Central

777 Bay Street 13th Floor

Toronto, ON, M5G 2E5

General Inquiry: 416-585-6226

Toll Free 1-800-668-0230

Fax: 416-585-6882

Contact: Ian Russell, Team Lead, Regional Housing Services

Tel: 416-585-6965

Email: ian.russell@ontario.ca

Serving:Durham, Halton, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York

Municipal Services Office - Eastern

8 Estate Lane, Rockwood House

Kingston, ON, K7M 9A8

General Inquiry: 613-545-2100

Toll Free 1-800-257-9438

Fax: 613-548-6822

Contact: Mila Kolokolnikova, Team Lead, Regional Housing Services

Tel: 613-545-2123

Email: mila.kolokolnikova@ontario.ca

Serving: Cornwall, Hastings, Kawartha Lakes, Kingston, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Lennox and Addington, Northumberland, Ottawa, Peterborough, Prescott and Russell, Renfrew

Municipal  Services Offices - Western

659 Exeter Road, 2nd Floor

London, ON, N6E 1L3

General Inquiry: 519-873-4020

Toll Free: 1-800-265-4736

Fax: 519-873-4018

Contact: Tony Brutto, Team Lead, Regional Housing Services

Tel: 519-873-4032

Email: tony.brutto@ontario.ca

Serving: Brantford, Bruce, Chatham Kent, Dufferin, Grey, Hamilton, Huron, Lambton, London, Niagara, Norfolk, Oxford, St. Thomas, Stratford, Waterloo, Wellington, Windsor

Municipal Services  Office – Northeastern

159 Cedar Street, Suite 401

Sudbury, ON P3E 6A5

General Inquiry: 705-564-0120

Toll Free: 1-800-461-1193

Fax: 705-564-6863

Contact: Cindy Couillard, Team Lead, Regional Housing Services

Tel: 705-564-6808

Email: cindy.couillard@ontario.ca

Serving: Algoma, Cochrane, Greater Sudbury, Manitoulin-Sudbury, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Timiskaming

Municipal Services  Office - Northwestern

435 James Street, Suite 223

Thunder Bay, ON, P7E 6S7

General Inquiry: 807-475-1651

Toll Free: 1-800-465-5027

Fax: 807-475-1196

Contact:Peter  Boban, Team Lead, Regional Housing Services

Tel: 807-473-3017

Email: peter.boban@ontario.ca

Serving: Kenora, Rainy River, Thunder Bay

Housing Programs Branch - Toronto

777 Bay Street, 14th Floor

Toronto, ON, M5G 2E5

Fax: 416-585-7003

Contact: Walter Battello, Account Manager, Housing Programs Branch

Tel: 416-585-6480

Fax: 416-585-6588

Email: walter.battello@ontario.ca

Serving: Toronto             

Links to other resources

If you require additional information about some of the concepts discussed in the publication, please refer to these resources.

Community Improvement Planning Handbook. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Municipal Tools for Affordable Housing.  Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

In the zone: Housing, Human Rights and Municipal Planning. Ontario Human Rights Commission

Building Together: Guide for Municipal Asset Management Plans. Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

Local Government Guide for Improving Market Housing Affordability. British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range

Redeveloping Social Housing in Ontario: A Provincial Guide and Perspective. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Revitalizing and Refinancing Social Housing: How Do You Get There? Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Provincial Policy Statement, 2014. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Housing Policy Statement. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy Update 2016