One road to more affordable housing in Burlington is a closer look and some action on Inclusionary Zoning

By Staff

September 25th, 2021



Inclusionary zoning (IZ) is a relatively new strategy in many Canadian municipalities that specifically allows municipalities to require affordable housing units to be provided in new residential development projects.

There is little value for IZ in areas where, due to the lack of market demand, significant measures and incentives are required to attract development. In these circumstances, more direct measures such as funding construction of affordable housing units through non-profit organizations may be more efficient at addressing affordable housing needs.

Young families have been driving the population growth in the reason; that growth is threatened by the high cost of housing,

Halton Region has a higher proportion of family households than most other areas of the province. Across Halton 78.4% of the dwellings are family households, compared to 71.3% across the GTHA and results in a lack of available detached or semi- detached single-family dwellings.

By 2041, the percentage of family households is projected to decrease to 75.8% of Halton’s housing mix. After 2021, intensification in Halton was planned to be pursued aggressively with 90% of the growth in built-up areas being in the form of condominiums and apartments, and just 10% in the form of ground related housing.

If Halton wants to attract younger generations to support its aging population, it will need a proper housing mix including condominiums and apartments to do so.

Younger families have been the bedrock of Halton’s growth and are the most likely to stay in the region long-term and multi-generationally. If these families have to drive further to find the quality and price of home they expect, Halton will be left with an aging population that has a higher demand on local services such as health care, without a stable and growing tax base to offset and support that increased usage.

Inclusionary zoning should be based on a partnership model. The costs of establishing affordable housing units should be shared among the province, municipalities, development industry, non-profit housing sector, housing advocates, as well as the public.

This is one f the last single family dwellings projects in the city. No more land

When determining what areas would benefit from inclusionary zoning, it is important to assess the specific housing types targeted for affordable housing, target groups where policy efforts should be focused, potential developments that may be exempt from IZ, and examples of how IZ would work in practice and how potential measures and incentives would apply to a given development.

Burlington has a Housing Strategy Working group led by ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stole that happens to have a wide range of people involved in housing issues taking part.  Some deep discussion on how to create an Inclusive zoning category for Burlington (it would have to be Region wide) and maybe even a recommendation to both the city and the Region.

This article along with several others came out of a Dispatch released by Community Development Halton – it is one of the best CDH has produced in some time.  The work was done by Rachel
Ferry, a McMaster University placement student.


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3 comments to One road to more affordable housing in Burlington is a closer look and some action on Inclusionary Zoning

  • Patricia Livingston

    What about North of Dundas? There’s lots of land but it can’t be built on. Why not make some of that land residential for detached homes with 1 acre lots. Then people in townhomes can get what they want too. Condo people can move up, and the circle of life continues. Thanks for listening.

  • Alfred


    Since the Provincial Mandate for housing demands that the City provide for all kinds of housing and developers are not developing large lots anymore. I believe the new lots are referred to as cookie cutter. Where do you suggest affluent people be allowed to build their homes if not on underdeveloped large existing lots. Burlington has the most stringent Zoning By-laws in Ontario. So it appears you are not interested in reasonable development. You appear to want no development. As it would be impossible to put a large house on a small lot in Burlington. Scarcity of land is the reason for the large increase in house prices. Building lot’s make up 2/3 of the price of a new home up 1/3 from a short time ago. Sad when you realize we are one of the biggest countries in the world. I bet you thought the greenbelt was a great idea.

  • Diane Knox

    Well done. Yes we need a Younger generation of citizens who can find a Family Affordable “Starter home” for us to remain a sustainable City. However, if ‘city planners’ continue to allow those 3 bedroom homes to be replaced with monster homes in our older starter neighbourhoods and Role over to million dollar condos we will continue to close schools and shut them out of this City. Keep on this issue