ACORN members lead push for Affordable Housing in Ontario

Posted January 20, 2015

ACORN members in Toronto and Ottawa led actions last week to put pressure on the Ontario Liberal Government to pass Bill 39 to amend the Planning Act, to allow cities to mandate affordable types of housing be included in new condo developments.  Braving cold temperatures, members of ACORN led actions to ensure that the Inclusionary Zoning bill would not die on the committee table, as has happened five times prior when introduced by ONDP MPP Cheri DiNovo did when the Liberal government decided not to put the Bill to a final 3rd vote. 
Ottawa member Curtis Bulatovich, who is on the housing wait list, led the crowd outside 340 Gloucester, a housing building, that is wedged in between two massive new condo developments. Energy was high and members will keep up the pressure! Everyone committed to sending a letter to their MPP after the action. 
In Toronto, Liberal MPP Mike Colle - a key member of the committee where the bill currently sits - has refused to sit down and talk with his constituents and ACORN members about what his plans are, to either support or not support Bill 39.  One thing is clear, the Liberal Government needs to show its true colours.  Either they support solutions to the housing crisis or they are the problem.  Only they can decide that, but rest assured that ACORN members across Ontario will be holding the Liberal Government accountable on this critical issue. 
More on Inclusionary Zoning:
Inclusionary housing programs are a mechanism for municipalities to use their development regulation and approval process to force private developers to provide some affordable units in all (or nearly all) market projects. These programs represent a new way of providing affordable housing. They do not depend upon financial subsidies from government.  They rely upon the incentives available through the regulatory and approval process to support the provision of affordable housing.  Inclusionary housing programs do not, and cannot, replace social housing programs.  They serve a different type, and range, of housing needs; both are critically needed.
To learn more about what Incusionary Zoning read our report here.
Background: After years of ignoring issue, and voting against MPP Cheri DiNovo’s five identical Private Members Bills, backbench Liberal MPP Peter Milczyn introduced private member bill 39 - Planning Statute Law Amendment Act, 2014- that included a long needed fix to the Planning Act that would enable municipalities to move forward with needed mandatory inclusionary zoning by laws. Thirty members attended in cold and windy temperatures.