What Municipalities Can Do to Promote Affordable Housing

November 9, 2018
Special Needs Housing

What Can Municipalities Do To Promote Affordable Housing?

• Get organized - create a housing business plan

• Create a private / non-profit sector advisory panel to help oversee implementation of the housing business plan

• Define what affordable housing is - what are market and reasonable target rents?

• Build flexible incentive packages (bonus zoning in strategic areas, i.e. downtowns, waive or significantly reduce permit fees; waive or significantly reduce parking requirements, etc.)

• Effectively manage NIMBY

• Donate land for special needs housing

• Ensure the disposal of surplus lands includes an affordable housing component

• Enter into shared ownership or P3 arrangements with affordable housing providers

• Land banking at strategic locations / develop land trusts

• Waive or significantly reduce property taxes for affordable housing

• Promote all provincial and federal housing programs to residents and developers as the case may be

• Extend secondary suites to all zones

• If there are under-utilized R2 properties, contact property owners and advise them of their rights. If there are minor variance issues, waive permit fees and expedite minor variance applications.

• Support micro-suites, tiny homes and flex-plex housing

• Reduce lot dimensions, right-of-way dimensions, avoid prescriptive design rules, create simple form-based code rules and examine water and other regulatory matters that may unnecessarily impact density

• Enter into partnerships with financial institutions to secure reduced interest rates for affordable housing.

David Harrison, MCIP

David Harrison

David Harrison is an urban planner and development consultant based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He is also associated with Montreal-based LGP Strategies for planning and economic development project work. 


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