February 5, 2018

AMO has submitted comments to the Ministers of Housing and of Municipal Affairs in response the proposed amendments to regulations under the Planning Act. These would serve to direct municipal governments on how to enact inclusionary zoning by-laws in order to facilitate more affordable housing.  These could apply to single, upper, and lower tier governments in Ontario.

AMO supported the government adding inclusionary zoning to the municipal toolbox in legislation, however, President Lynn Dollin expressed disappointment with the framework in the submission.  If enacted without significant change, it will result in a lost opportunity for Ontarians.  In short, as the regulations are proposed, inclusionary zoning will simply not meet the public policy objectives of creating affordable housing in a meaningful way.

Most concerning is a requirement for a municipal contribution to offset the costs of development. While currently voluntary, the minister has the authority in legislation to prescribe municipal governments by regulation to enact inclusionary zoning by-laws. As a result, there is the potential that inclusionary zoning will result in an unfunded mandate for municipal governments if a minister chooses, now or in the future, to exercise this authority. For these reasons, AMO is advocating for change to the regulations and further engagement with the province before finalization.