ACORN Inclusionary Zoning campaign takes massive step forward, turns local

Posted December 8, 2016

If we are good enough to work in the city, then we are good enough to live in the city. Affordable Housing Now!!  
 
That was ACORN members' mantra over the last eight years since we began our campaign for mandatory inclusionary zoning powers in 2008.   
 
Yesterday, the Ontario Government passed legislation that grants municipalities the power to force developers to provide affordable housing in new developments. This again shows the power of ACORN, and that determined people can make positive change!  
 
Reports released, rallies held, community forums hosted, private members bills introduced and reintroduced, not to mention the countless politicians pestered by ACORN members across the province, all led to this victory.  
 
Inclusionary zoning, when done right, allows for regular people to have a say in what types of developments are built in their communities - not just developers and their Bay Street friends. If done right, inclusionary zoning will create affordable housing for ACORN members and their neighbours to live in. This is big!
 
The fight for mandatory inclusionary zoning is not over. Now the fight becomes local because the success of this policy will depend on how far we can push cities to use mandatory inclusionary zoning to create affordable cities in Ontario.   
 
Toronto Mayor John Tory has stated that he wants to use inclusionary zoning in Toronto; he even helped push for this bill to be passed.  While that is good, there is cause for concern. There are countless examples in the USA and in BC of cities not using inclusionary zoning effectively and it having very little impact on housing affordability.
 
We cannot let that happen in our cities!! Rest assured that ACORN members will be fighting across the province to ensure that mandatory inclusionary zoning creates as many units at as low a cost to renters and buyers as possible.  And they will need your help! 
 
We also must acknowledge our allies. ACORN has worked with amazing partners over the years working on inclusionary zoning. NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo introduced a private members bill for inclusionary zoning five times, all of which were defeated by the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. Social Planning Toronto, Richard Drdla, Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa, and many other allied organizations did a lot of campaigning, research, and planning to help make this a reality. 
  
It should be noted that Inclusionary zoning is only one of many tools that are needed to create and sustain affordable housing. It is not going to solve the housing crisis in Ontario by itself. 
 
That is why ACORN is still pushing for real rent control, standing up for Social Housing, and fighting for as much money as possible for housing from the Federal Government as they plan out the new National Housing Strategy.  
 
ACORN is hot on the trail of any politician or developer who does not support affordable cities!