Newspaper Articles

InsideToronto.com (26 May 2015):  Social Planning Toronto looks at inclusionary zoning

This article reviews the panel discussion hosted by Social Planning Toronto on 21 May 2015 to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by inclusionary zoningf or the City of Toronto . It was attended by over 100 people to hear four panelists:  Jennifer Keesmaat (Chief Planner for the City of Toronto), Remo Agostino (Vice-President for the Daniels Corporation), Michael Shapcott (long-time housing and homelessness advocate), and Richard Drdla (affordable housing consultant and inclusionary zoning advocate).

http://www.insidetoronto.com/news-story/5644583-social-planning-toronto-looks-at-inclusionary-zoning/

The Toronto Star (5 May 2015): Affordable housing – an obvious fix

In this editorial, the Toronto Star called for the Province to pass legislation authorizing the use of inclusionary zoning, describing it as an “essential” and “a long overdue and obvious reform”.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/05/04/toronto-should-endorse-an-obvious-way-to-boost-affordable-housing-editorial.html

The Toronto Star (30 April 2015):  Make developers dedicate space for affordable housing

Mike Layton, Toronto City Councillor, wants the City and the Province to back inclusionary zoning so that all developers will be required to devote a set number of units as affordable housing.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/04/30/make-developers-dedicate-space-for-affordable-housing-councillor.html

The Toronto Star (11 April 2015):  Three paths to mixed-income neighbourhoods

This article sees the need for more mixed-income neighbourhoods to reduce polarization in Toronto, and identifies inclusionary zoning one of the key ways of achieving that.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/04/11/three-paths-to-more-mixed-income-neighbourhoods.html

The Toronto Star (24 December 2014):  A perfect storm to take action on affordable housing

Mitch Cohen, President of the Daniels Corporation, a prominent Toronto-based private development company, endorses inclusionary zoning, calling it “the most important tool in the affordable housing tool box”.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/12/23/a_perfect_storm_for_action_on_affordable_housing.html

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Councillor Layton pushes for inclusionary zoning

On 6 May 2015, Mike Layton, Toronto City Councillor, put forward a motion to City Council requesting staff develop a strategy for the City to implement inclusionary zoning.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/04/30/make-developers-dedicate-space-for-affordable-housing-councillor.html

The Toronto Star endorses inclusionary zoning

In an editorial on 5 May 2015, entitled Affordable Housing – An Obvious Fix, the Toronto Star called for the Province to pass legislation authorizing the use of inclusionary zoning, describing it as an “essential” and “a long overdue and obvious reform”.

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2015/05/04/toronto-should-endorse-an-obvious-way-to-boost-affordable-housing-editorial.html

The Daniels Corporation supports inclusionary zoning

Mitch Cohen and Martin Blake, president and vice-president respectively of the Daniels Corporation, a prominent Toronto-based development company, have both recently and separately endorsed the use of inclusionary zoning

In an article, entitled “A perfect storm to take action on affordable housing” in the Toronto Star on 24 December 2014, Cohen identified inclusionary zoning as:

“the most important tool in the affordable housing tool box.  Inclusionary zoning on a city-wide basis creates a level playing field, an opportunity for a constructive partnership between municipalities and private sector developers to create both affordable ownership and rental homes within every new building approved for construction. … The development industry will undoubtedly object …[but] after an initial outcry, creative minds will turn to implementation, to making it happen.”

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/12/23/a_perfect_storm_for_action_on_affordable_housing.html

On CBC Radio on 27 November 2014, in response to questions about the Milcyzn bill before the Ontario legislature and inclusionary zoning generally,  Blake said:

“I always thought that it was a great movement for affordable housing. It is wonderful to hear that we might get to the point that we are actually creating affordable housing again in Toronto …. This is something that is absolutely necessary to ensure that Toronto is for everybody”.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile/Metro%2BMorning/ID/2618024797/

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Richard Florida supports inclusionary zoning

Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, wrote in the Toronto Star on 30 November 2014 an article titled ‘How the new mayor can repair Toronto’.  In that article, while reviewing the most pressing challenges faced by the new mayor, he wrote:

“The first is housing – particularly affordable housing….. The city needs to build new [affordable] housing and lots of it … [through] a concrete strategy. In New York, Bill Blasio introduced a plan for affordable housing that will require developers to include below-market apartments in newly zoned areas. Tory would do well to emulate this kind of public-private partnerships and incent developers … to help pay for more affordable housing.”

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Ontario Liberal MMP introduces Inclusionary Zoning Bill

Peter Milczyn, Liberal MPP, introduced a private member’s bill, called the Planning Statute Amendments Act, on 18 November 2014.  It received second reading on 20 November.   Among various changes to Ontario’s Planning Act, the bill would allow municipalities in this province to use inclusionary zoning in an effective and productive way.  Read the full bill.  Read a precise

 

Home

This website is dedicated to promoting the use of inclusionary housing practices in Canada.

It is intended for those wishing to learn generally more about the subject, as well as those looking specifically to develop and implement productive programs.

It consolidates information relevant to Canada on inclusionary practices from a variety of sources and in a variety of ways. Included in its contents are the following:

  • a description of typical inclusionary housing practices (see “How It Works”).
  • a number of case studies of representative inclusionary programs in the US, and their nearest equivalents in Canada (see “Case Studies”).
  • a library of recent and relevant articles from both American and Canadian sources (see “Resources”).
  • a review of the current legislative situation in three provinces of Canada (see “Legislation”).
  • a list of individuals and organizations, mainly from Ontario, that have expressed support for inclusionary housing practices (see “Who’s For It”)
  • an examination of some of central issues raised by the inclusionary practices (see “Issues”).
  • a glossary of many of terms associated with these practices (see “Glossary of Terms”).

This site is meant to be open to the input and contribution of others (see “Contact/Comment/Question”).

What is inclusionary housing?

Inclusionary housing programs are municipal programs that use the development regulations and approval process to oblige private developers to provide a portion of affordable housing within their new market projects.

The policies represent a fundamentally different way to providing affordable housing than the conventional social housing programs used almost exclusively to date in Canada.   Those programs essentially rely on financial subsidies provided by the provincial and/or federal governments. In contrast, inclusionary programs rely solely on the concessions coming out of the regulatory process.

Inclusionary zoning is one particular form of inclusionary housing practices. It is associated with the US, where it was first introduced in the early1970s, and is now used in at least 300 communities, and perhaps over 400, in a dozen or more states.

Inclusionary zoning merits special attention because it has a proven track record in providing affordable housing. It operates under a commonly used set of rules and procedures that have been well-honed after years of experience. These practices in the main could be readily adopted in this country. Even if not fully replicated, that experience offers many lessons that should be heeded here.

There are no equivalent programs in Canada. Some Canadian cities – including Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto – have developed inclusionary programs to support the development of mixed-income communities, but these are more limited in scope and effectiveness than inclusionary zoning as used in the US.

While not all inclusionary housing programs are the same, in order to be effective, they largely adhere to the following key characteristics:

  • engaging private developers to build and provide housing at a below-market price or rent.
  • providing housing that is affordable on a long-term or permanent basis to succeeding owners or renters.
  • providing affordable housing within market housing developments and not on separate sites or in different locations.
  • relying on concessions available through the regulatory process (like density bonuses and fee rebates) – and not financial subsidies – to reduce the cost burden on the developers for providing the affordable housing.
  • operating under fixed and non-negotiable rules that treat all developers in a consistent, equitable and transparent way.

Why inclusionary housing?

There are number of compelling reasons why inclusionary housing practices, and inclusionary zoning specifically, should be used in this country.

  • These practices have been proven to be effective ways in providing affordable housing.

These practices, it is important to stress, do not rely upon government funding to produce affordable housing. They not compete for the scarce dollars upon which conventional programs critically rely. Instead, they represent an alternative and supplementary way of providing affordable housing that adds to the tools available to municipalities.

  • They help to create integrated and mixed-income communities.

 Under these practices, affordable housing will be built virtually everywhere market housing is built. Over time, that means affordable housing will be made available widely across the city, giving people a much wider choice of places to live, including closer to where they work.

  • They  provide for a greater variety and diversity of affordable housing.

The scarce government funding has been focussed – and rightly so – on helping the homeless and others in the greatest need. But, as a consequence, many other affordable housing needs are being overlooked. For example, due to rapidly rising house prices, many moderate-income families can no longer afford to buy new homes in their own communities. Inclusionary practices allow municipalities to meet these and other local needs left unmet by conventional programs.

RD/15Sep2014

This hedgehog with a complicated name smiles and say thank you. So buy levitra and send it to the wood. There’s a lot of appreciative. Quiet decide how many send and you can do it.

Resources

Inclusionary zoning practices in the US have been very widely and extensively studied.  The reports and papers identified on this website are among the many that can be found on the internet, but only include those considered to be most relevant to the Canadian reader.  All in all, they should provide a solid introduction to the key aspects of these practices.

The Canadian research and writing on inclusionary housing practices, on the other hand, is very limited. Furthermore, most of that specifically on inclusionary zoning reflects a shallow understanding of it.   So, only a handful of Canadian documents have been identified here.

Will the inclusionary housing programs stifle the development of market housing?

This question has been carefully researched in the US.  The empirical evidence there conclusively shows that there has been little to no impact on the production of market housing in the municipalities that have adopted inclusionary zoning programs. [Read more…]

Will the inclusionary housing programs drive up the price of market housing?

This question has been carefully researched in the US. The empirical evidence there conclusively shows that there has been little to no impact on the price of housing in the municipalities that have adopted inclusionary zoning programs. [Read more…]