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.

Montreal QC: ‘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.  Its goal is to provide housing for a mix of  income brackets in all new large housing developments.  This was to be achieved particularly by facilitating the development of social housing as well as affordable housing for first-time homeowners. [Read more…]

Vancouver BC: ‘20% Core Need Housing Policy’

The city introduced its inclusionary housing program in 1988 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 social housing for ‘core need households’ on certain large market residential developments, particularly by securing sites that could be developed for social housing.  Later, the policy was changed to include a wider range of affordable housing on these sites. [Read more…]

Toronto ON: ‘Large Sites Policy’

Toronto’s inclusionary housing policy is found in housing policy 9 of its Official Plan. The policy is commonly called the ‘large sites policy’ because it applies only to sites greater than 5 ha in size.

To date, this policy has not been used to provide affordable housing, nor have any implementing regulations or guidelines been prepared to augment the basic requirements found in the OP. [Read more…]