Template for the IZ Consultation
The More Homes Built Faster Act claims to build 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years. However, none of this housing is going to be affordable. In fact, the legislation drastically weakens the potential of the cities to build any new affordable housing.
Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) is an important new policy tool that empowers cities to impose affordability requirements on a certain percentage of units in new housing developments. The potential of IZ was already diluted in 2019 when its application was restricted to only within 800 metres of major transit station areas. But now, this new legislation weakens it further in multiple ways:
One, it requires developers to set aside only 5% of the units in any new development as affordable.
Second, it caps the years for which the units will be kept affordable to 25; and
Third, it changes the definition of affordable housing to 80% Average Market Rent (AMR).
Toronto passed its IZ bylaw in late 2021, setting affordability requirements at up to 22% of a new development (phased in over several years). The city required these IZ units to be permanently affordable. Even the affordable rent definition that applied to these IZ units was revised to be based on household income and not average market rent. CMHC defines housing as affordable if the rent is no more than 30% of household income.
Given the exorbitant rental and ownership costs, 80% AMR is NOT affordable.
In the current housing crisis, we need a bold IZ policy and not more resources in the hands of wealthy developers.
As an ACORN member and a tenant, I strongly urge you to ensure that the cities have the powers and resources they need to strengthen the IZ bylaws.