Mississauga is continuing its work to create more affordable housing. This week, Council approved a proposal to develop a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) to offer incentives for new affordable rental dwellings.
“Mississauga, much like many other growing cities across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA), is facing a housing affordability challenge,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “This plan will help Mississauga take another meaningful step toward building more affordable rental housing in our city. It will also allow us to continue to make progress on our Making Room for the Middle Affordable Housing plan and ensure that everyone, no matter their background, can afford to live in Mississauga.”
A CIP can be created when what is needed in a community will not be built by the market without intervention. This CIP could encourage the development of new affordable purpose-built rental units by providing financial and non-financial incentives. Only units meeting defined affordability criteria would be considered for incentives by Council. Staff will recommend the appropriate affordability thresholds through work on the CIP.
“We are suggesting a city-wide CIP for affordable rental units because these are not being built by the market anywhere in the city, with the exception of developments supported by the Region of Peel and other levels of government,” said Andrew Whittemore, Commissioner of Planning and Building. “With a current primary rental vacancy rate of 0.8 per cent in our city, compared to a balanced market vacancy rate of 3 per cent, supply has not kept up with demand.”
The approval begins a three-step process which includes:
• Introduction of a by-law to designate the entire city as a Community Improvement Project Area for the purposes of affordable rental housing
• Preparation of the Plan including an analysis of incentive options
• Consultation with the community and industry, including a statutory public meeting
“We will work in tandem with our Regional partners who are also undertaking a CIP,” said Jason Bevan, Director of City Planning Strategies, who presented the report at Council. “The Region is currently conducting a business case and financial assessment with an update expected to Regional Council this Fall. Mississauga’s CIP would be significantly more effective with Regional participation given their share of overall development charges and property taxes.”
The CIP must take into consideration recent changes to municipal planning and financial legislation introduced in Bill 108.
The CIP follows other recent Council actions to advance the City’s affordable housing strategy including the Demolition Control and Rental Protection By-laws. The City currently has a CIP in place for office space in the downtown area.