Inclusionary zoning moves forward in Mississauga

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Mississauga is moving forward with a new inclusionary zoning (IZ) policy that officials say will get more affordable housing built across the city.

“We’re pleased that our new IZ policy will help more middle-income households find housing they can afford,” said Andrew Whittemore, commissioner of planning and building. “While this is a bold step, it’s clear that municipalities and the development community can not solve the housing affordability problem alone. To truly move the needle on affordability, we need all levels of government at the table.”

With approval of the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment, Mississauga’s IZ policy is planned to take effect Jan. 1, 2023. The effective date is dependent on the timing of provincial approvals for MTSAs. Once in place, the policy will include a three-year phase-in period to allow the market to adjust to the new requirements.

IZ is a tool that allows the city to require affordable housing units for certain new housing developments. Mississauga’s IZ policy, approved by council last week, will apply to larger scale developments with over 50 ownership units (or 3,600 square metres of residential area).  Once built, the new units will remain affordable over time.

“Like many municipalities across this province, Mississauga is facing a housing affordability crisis that is pushing the price of owning and renting out of reach for many of our residents. While there are no easy solutions to this problem, we are doing everything we can to address it, from speeding up permit approvals to protecting our rental supply,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

“And now, we are going one step further. I am proud that Mississauga is one of the first municipalities in Ontario to move forward with an inclusionary zoning policy. We remain committed to using all of the tools that the province has given us to increase our supply of affordable housing for our residents.”

At this point, IZ can only be used in Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) or other areas directed by the province. Mississauga’s IZ policy will:

  • Following a phase-in period, require 5-10 percent of the residential area in a new building be set aside for affordable units; the percentage varies based on where in the city the development is located.
  • Ensure IZ units remain affordable over time by requiring a 99-year affordability period for ownership units and a 25- to 30-year affordability period for rental units.
  • Encourage the supply of rental housing by providing a reduced IZ set aside rate for developers who provide affordable rental units in their condominium projects. In addition, purpose built rental projects (e.g., developments with rental units only) will be completely exempt from IZ requirements.

Since the adoption of Making Room for the Middle – A Housing Strategy for Mississauga in 2017, the city has been implementing various strategies and tools to improve housing affordability for Mississauga’s middle-income households. IZ was identified as one of the tools in the strategy.


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