City of Mississauga staff yesterday presented two reports to the City’s Planning and Development Committee for their consideration. These latest reports are part of the City’s commitment to improving access to affordable housing.
The Affordable Housing Program: Public Land for Housing First report identifies the lack of land available at a reasonable price as a barrier to producing affordable housing.
The report recommends that the City adopt a “public land for housing first” policy for surplus properties.
As per the report, City staff are proposing that surplus City-owned properties be disposed of at market value for affordable housing purposes. This would enable affordable housing producers to have greater access to purchase these sites. Currently they are required to bid on the open market after other levels of government and school boards have first had a chance to express interest.
The City’s Affordable Housing Advisory Panel, made up of industry experts, Mayor Crombie and Council members, supports making surplus City-owned land available for affordable housing.
Surplus lands are City-owned properties that are no longer needed to support existing or future municipal services.
“Mississauga is a city where people choose to be. It’s critical that our residents have housing options that are affordable,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “By improving access to developable lands and preserving our rental housing, we can make significant progress in meeting the demands of the City’s growing population.”
The Affordable Housing Program: Preservation of Rental Housing report examines the City’s current supply and suggests ways to keep and increase rental housing in Mississauga. Options include policies to guide building conversions and demolitions, a By-law for preserving and replacing existing rental buildings and a costing of incentives designed to keep and increase the supply of rental housing.
The Planning and Development Committee approved both reports in principle. A future staff report will provide more details on various options for the preservation of affordable rental housing.
“These reports show what we can do to help preserve our rental housing and access lands that could be used to build affordable housing,” said Ed Sajecki, Commissioner of Planning and Building. “Together with the Region of Peel, the provincial and federal governments and other association and agency partners, we will continue to work to increase the supply and access to affordable housing in Mississauga.”
The City is developing an affordable housing program in partnership with the Region of Peel. The program is expected to be established by the end of 2016.