Case Studies – Canadian

Overview of Three Canadian Inclusionary Practices

Three major Canadian cities – Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver – have enacted inclusionary housing policies.  Although different in some ways, the policies share a number of key features that constitute a limited made-in-Canada inclusionary housing approach.

This approach falls well short of mandatory inclusionary zoning as practised in the US.  It probably represents more or less the best that can be done within the municipal powers and resources currently available generally within this country.  Read the Overview

This paper describes and compares those policies, and identifies their key shared features.  It was prepared by Richard Drdla in January 2010 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

Vancouver BC:  20% Core Need Housing Policy

The city introduced this inclusionary housing program in1988 through a policy initially called its 20% Core Need Housing Policy, but now more commonly its Non-Market Housing Policy.  The policy was initially designed to provide sites on large redundant industrial lands being re-zoned for housing.  These sites were to provided used for family-oriented social housing for ‘core need households’ built through federal and provincial funding.  Later, the policy was changed to include a wider range of affordable housing on these sites.  Read the Case Study

This case study was prepared by Richard Drdla in January 2010 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

Montreal QB:  Inclusionary Housing Strategy

This strategy – called a “strategy for inclusion of affordable housing in new residential projects” – was adopted by the city in August 2005.  The strategy applies to new residential developments of 200 or more units that require major changes to the approved master plan or zoning provisions, or public investment in basic infrastructure or environmental improvements.  It mandates that these developments provide a minimum of 30% of the new units as affordable housing – 15% in social housing and 15% in low-end-of-market rental or ownership.  Read the Case Study

This case study was prepared by Richard Drdla in December 2009 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute, and later revised in June 2010.

Toronto ON:  Large Sites Policy

Toronto’s inclusionary housing policy is found in housing policy 9 – the Large Sites Policy – of its Official Plan (OP). The OP was approved in 2002, but this particular policy did not come into effect until mid-2006. The policy is directed at providing a mix of housing in terms of type and affordability on ‘large sites’ greater than 5 ha in size. The affordable housing obligation is imposed on these sites when they are re-zoned for increased density or height. Read the Case Study

This case study was prepared by Richard Drdla in January 2010 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute, and later revised in August 2014.

Case Studies – American

Chicago IL:  Affordable Requirements Ordinance

This program, adopted in 2007 and revised in 2015, has been designed primarily to secure fees-in-lieu rather than affordable units built on-site in mixed-income developments. The affordable housing obligation it places on the developers also remain less than demanding.   For these reasons, the program should be probably seen as how not to make best use of inclusionary zoning.  Read the Case Study

This case study was  originally prepared in October 2009, and then updated in May 2016, by Richard Drdla.  The original case study was prepared through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

New York NY:  Mandatory Inclusionary Housing

The city passed this mandatory inclusionary program in March 2016 after seeing the unsatisfactory results of its voluntary program adopted in 1987.  This program applies to certain designated neighborhoods across the city, and targets developments taking advantage of the pre-established up-zonings available as-of-right in those areas.  Read the Case Study

The case study was prepared by Richard Drdla  in May 2016.

San Francisco CA:  Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program

This program, initially adopted in 1992, was the first inclusionary program in a big and built-out city.  It has been substantially changed and enhanced over the years, generally making it more demanding and productive.  It applies both to developments needing a re-zoning and those proceeding as-of-right, while imposing a higher affordable housing obligation on the later.  It is also notable for offering no explicit density bonuses nor any other cost off-sets.  Read the Case Study

The case study was prepared by Richard Drdla in November 2009 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

Montgomery County MD:  Moderately Priced Housing Program

This program was initially adopted in 1971, making it one of the very first in the country and also one of the very few county ones.  It applies to all as-of-right developments without offering density bonuses, but does provide density bonuses for affordable units provided above the minimum.   Although an important pioneering and productive program, its idiosyncratic approach to many aspects have not been emulated elsewhere.  Read the Case Study

The case study was prepared Richard Drdla in October 2009 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

Davis CA:  Affordable Housing Program

The small city in northern California adopted its first program in 1977, and has subsequently revised and enhanced three times since then. It is broadly representative of the programs in this state.  It is also notable for using the program to secure a wide array of affordable housing for different types and incomes.  Read the Case Study

The case study was prepared in December 2009 by Richard Drdla through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

Boston MA:  Inclusionary Development Policy

This mandatory program was established in 2000 by executive order of the, and has been modified on several occasions since then.   It applies only to new developments needing a re-zoning, but because of the city’s out-of-date zoning this in effect affects all new developments. The program itself offers no density increases or any other cost-offsets, but these can be secured through the re-zoning process.  Read the Case Study

The case study was prepared by Richard Drdla in October 2009 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

Burlington:  Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance

This small city in northern Vermont adopted its first inclusionary program in 1990 and modified it once since then.  It has drawn upon and incorporated many of the best practices developed elsewhere, while introducing innovations of its own.  It imposes higher affordable housing obligations on developments serving higher income levels. It also was one of first to control affordability permanently.  Read the Case Study

The case study was prepared by Richard Drdla in October 2009 through funding provided by the Wellesley Institute.

Inclusionary Zoning: Solutions for Below Market Housing

Thursday, May 21 from 10-12 pm College Street United Church 452 College Street (College at Bathurst)

A forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by an Inclusionary Zoning program for the City of Toronto. It is a proven tool to provide much needed affordable housing.

Moderator: Brian Eng, Board Member, Social Planning Toronto

Speakers:

Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner, City of Toronto
Remo Agostino, Vice President, Development for The Daniels Corporation
Michael Shapcott, long-time housing and homelessness advocate
Richard Drdla, Affordable Housing Consultant and Policy Analyst

All interested people are invited including affordable housing advocates, developers, planners, policy analysts and community builders.

LIMITED SEATING

Please reserve your seat at: http://inclusionaryzoning.eventbrite.ca  This is a free event The venue is wheelchair-accessible Light Refreshments will be served For inquires call Rebecca Phinnemore at: (416) 351-0095 Ext. 216 rphinnemore@socialplanningtoronto.org

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