What Municipalities Can Do to Promote Affordable 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