Insauga: Affordable housing group says Mississauga isn’t doing enough to tackle issue
Posted July 6, 2022
Posted July 6, 2022
Members of a public interest group fighting for more affordable housing will rally outside Mississauga City Hall late this afternoon (July 5) in an effort to push City officials to do more to tackle the huge problem.
Peel ACORN, an independent social and economic justice organization comprised in part of low- and moderate-income Mississauga residents, will protest beginning at 5 p.m.
Organizers say members of the group are “dismayed” by a City of Mississauga draft Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) Policy being tabled at a planning and development committee meeting tonight at 6 p.m.
Inclusionary Zoning is an affordable housing policy tool that will see all new housing developments in protected Mississauga Major Transit Station Areas (MTSA) required to provide a percentage of their units as affordable housing.
Mississauga’s IZ policy, for which staff is seeking final approval from council in August, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023 at the earliest.
“Developers will be required to set aside some units for sale or rent at rates affordable to moderate-income households,” Mississauga’s commissioner of planning and building, Andrew Whittemore, wrote in a report to the committee dated June 10.
“As the city grows, new development will continue to provide affordable housing units,” the staff report concludes. “IZ is one tool in the housing tool kit, and implementation of IZ is an important step in ensuring that the affordable housing stock in Mississauga continues to grow.”
Staff’s plan calls for Mississauga to require that developers set aside varying percentages of new development projects in MTSAs as affordable housing.
Identified MTSAs in Mississauga include:
- along the Hurontario Light Rail Transit route from Port Credit north to Matheson Blvd. W., including downtown core transit areas
- along the Hwy. 407 Bus Rapid Transit Route (Derry and Britannia Rds. transit areas)
- along the future Lakeshore Rd. East Bus Rapid Transit Route (Lakefront Promenade, Haig Blvd. and Dixie Rd. transit areas)
- along the Dundas St. Bus Rapid Transit Route
Members of Peel ACORN say the City simply isn’t going far enough in its quest for more affordable housing options, especially given skyrocketing rental prices in Mississauga and across the GTA.
The group, which launched efforts to push for a stronger IZ policy last fall, contends the City’s draft policy is “lacking on several counts” and members are pushing for Mississauga to ensure that:
- developers be required to set aside at least 20 to 30 per cent of new units as affordable
- the policy be adjusted so as not to be limited to MTSAs, as “the entire city needs affordable housing”
- the policy be applied to purpose-built rentals in addition to condos
- units should be kept affordable indefinitely, and not just for 25 to 50 years
“Inclusionary Zoning is a powerful tool in the hands of the cities to provide affordable housing,” Peel ACORN members say as they implore Mississauga to strengthen and broaden its draft IZ policy.
ACORN Canada is a national independent organization of low- and moderate-income people with more than 160,000 members in 20-plus neighbourhood chapters in nine cities.
Article by Declan Finucane for Insauga