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Clarington creates a toolkit to encourage more affordable housing in the community

Clarington December 10, 2019/- Clarington Council has approved an initial blueprint for an affordable housing toolkit to encourage developers to build affordable housing in the community. Among many things, the toolkit will reduce the time it takes to process development applications and some of the costs associated with development approvals.

“We lack affordable rental housing in Clarington. This is a problem that this Council has identified, and we’ve committed to creating an Affordable Housing Policy as outlined in our Strategic Plan,” said Mayor Adrian Foster. “We’ve approved the general policy direction and what we want staff to include as they work on formalizing and finalizing Clarington’s approach. Ultimately, we need more affordable housing so that all our residents have a place they can call home,” added Mayor Foster.

There are different definitions of “affordable housing.” To develop the toolkit, Clarington is aligning with the definition used by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. That definition states that affordable rental housing equals 80 per cent of the average market rent for similar units in the area.

The toolkit will focus on three main incentive areas including municipal regulation, land-based incentives and financial incentives. Clarington will look at expediting the approval process for affordable development by creating a priority application system. The Municipality will also provide application assistance and look at reducing parking requirements for developments.  Clarington will also expand permissions for secondary suites and garden suites, something the Province sees as a “key part of the affordable housing solution.” Under land incentives, the Municipality has identified surplus land that could be designated for affordable housing either through lease, donation or sale. Clarington will look at partnerships with other levels of government, not-for-profit organizations, and private sector companies to explore land incentives. Under financial incentives, Clarington is looking at a variety of tools including waiving or deferring development charge fees and any related applications fees, as well as security requirements.

This toolkit and proposed incentives will be available for projects that qualify for federal and provincial funding such as the Social Infrastructure Fund. If there are any applications for affordable housing that do not qualify for government-assisted funding, the Municipality will handle those on a case-by-case basis.

The toolkit with the corresponding incentives will be developed and available in the New Year.

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Media Contact:
Basia Radomski
Communications Manager
905-623-3379 ext. 2214

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