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Housing is Never Free: New Neighbours Will Pay the Bill for Inclusionary Zoning

TORONTO — The Ontario government has announced details of their 2016 Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, including a commitment to introduce enabling legislation that would give municipalities the ability to mandate the inclusion of affordable housing units in new development projects.
“We all know that nothing comes for free. Creating more affordable housing units should not come at the expense of housing affordability. Requiring free housing units as part of a new community approval is just another way to have new neighbours cover the bill as the cost of their new home goes up to pay for these new units,” commented Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA).
Vaccaro continued, “Many people are quick to say that they can produce new housing units with no government money, but that’s because they are making everyone buying a new home pay the bill for them.”
Inclusionary Zoning is a planning tool used in American cities like New York City, San Francisco, Boston and Washington. In all these jurisdictions there are financial and planning incentives to support the developments such as density bonusing, an Inclusionary Zoning development fund supported by state and federal funding. Successful inclusionary programs in American cities provide planning and financial support to ensure affordable housing doesn't undermine housing affordability.
“All levels of government talk about affordability as a priority as they pile on new taxes, charges and process to Ontario’s new neighbours,” said Vaccaro. “If governments are serious about making housing more affordable then the new power cannot be an add on to existing Section 37, development charges, parkland fees and outdated parking and zoning standards.”
“OHBA is going to work with all levels of government to ensure that Inclusionary Zoning does not undermine housing affordability for Ontario’s new neighbours.”

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