Shelby White, RPP Senior Planner Development Services705-739-4220 x4517Shelby.White@barrie.ca
Staff Report: Affordable Housing Monitoring Report 2018, 2019 and 2020
Staff Report: Affordable Housing Monitoring Report 2021
The City's Affordable Housing Strategy aims to encourage, stimulate and increase the supply and range of affordable housing options to meet the needs of our residents, at all income levels and stages of life.
City of Barrie's Affordable Housing Strategy (AHS), completed in 2015, is a 10-year plan based on the
County of Simcoe’s Affordable Housing Strategy. The strategy examined the 2013 housing situation in Barrie and recommended a series of action items.
Each year, the City takes stock of progress made to meet the affordable housing targets set in the strategy.
The County of Simcoe is the designated service manager for the City under the Housing Services Act, 2011. The County is responsible for planning, funding and managing social housing programs and homelessness services. The City can encourage and facilitate the provisions of affordable housing through initiatives, programs and policies; however, the City does not provide or manage housing.
The City’s goal was to create 840 affordable units by 2024.
The AHS recommends a variety of action items including short-, mid- and long-term items. The strategy recommended revisions to the Official Plan including:
The City recognizes there is a shortage of affordable housing, in particular affordable rental housing. Barrie is not alone in this, and the City is working on several initiatives to address this problem.
The City has updated the Second Suites policy and laws to allow existing property owners to register secondary rental units more quickly and easil, including within the Georgian College Neighbourhood area. The City has also implemented the provincial requirements to permit a third dwelling unit, in the form of a detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU), as an accessory use to a single detached dwelling, semi-detached dwelling or street townhouse dwelling. The City recently made
additional updates to the standards for second suites and DADUs to address concerns regarding affordability and land use compatibility.
Simcoe County continues to offer grants to eligible property owners encouraging them to add affordable second suites to their properties.
The City-wide Community Improvement Plan (CIP) includes an Affordable Housing Development Grant Program to help fund future affordable housing projects. Since the introduction of the new CIP in 2020, a total of $2,197,310 has been awarded in Affordable Housing Grants.
For more information on the CIP, including how to apply and application intake deadlines, please see the
One of the
Official Plan’s goals is to have at least 10% of all new residential development be affordable housing. We require developers to submit an
Affordable Housing Report showing how this is addressed in their developments and continually look at ways to improve implementation of this policy.
When a development proposes greater density or height than permitted the
Zoning By-law, the City has policies that allow
Planning Services to ask for community benefits. One of these benefits includes allocation of units or funds for affordable housing, allowing for funds to be used for affordable housing.
The City has been an early leader in progressively reducing the tax ratio for multi-residential units by approximately 25% annually. This is a significant tax-based support that encourages residential rentals in Barrie and is now being looked at as a good policy to implement throughout Ontario.
Some of the above initiatives will not be immediately felt as it takes some time for the effects of changes to be realized.
965 affordable units total as of December 31, 2021.
The City gained 93 affordable housing units (90 rental units and three home ownership units) in 2021.
The largest contributor to affordable housing units is unfunded second suites (suites added to existing homes that do not receive funding support from the County of Simcoe). At the same time, municipalities have no control over regulating what these suites are rented for. Given this, the County of Simcoe has started to estimate how many of these units are actually affordable. When the estimated rate (also known as the discount rate) is applied, the total count of new affordable units created in Barrie, as of December 31, 2021, drops from 965 to 712 units.
For full details please refer to 2021 Affordable Housing Monitoring Report.
872 affordable units total as of December 31, 2020.
The City has surpassed the goal of 840 affordable housing units, due largely to the number of new unfunded second suites. Only 14% of the affordable housing units are purpose-built, primary rental units, which shows more focus is needed in this area.
$1,777,780 in Affordable Housing Development Grants was awarded in 2020 under the City’s
Community Improvement Plan for future housing units.
For full detail please refer to Affordable Housing Monitoring Report (Reporting Period: January 2018 to December 2020).
768 affordable units total as of December 31, 2019. This is comprised of 48 affordable homeownership units and 720 rental units (including 455 second suites).
575 affordable units total as of December 31, 2018. This is comprised of 43 affordable homeownership units and 532 rental units (including 294 second suites).
AFFORDABLE HOUSING MONITORING REPORT 2021
Council approved the following:
That Council accept, in principle, the Affordable Housing Monitoring Report and Affordable Housing Strategy Report Card, attached as Appendix “A” and Appendix “B” to Staff Report DEV015-22 respectively. (DEV015-22)
PROPOSED CITY OF BARRIE OFFICIAL PLAN AND MUNICIPAL COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW - AFFORDABLE HOUSING
STAFF MEMORANDUM RE: HOUSING AFFORDABILITY TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
Councillor, S. Morales declared a potential pecuniary interest on the foregoing matter as he and members of his family could be financially impacted in the future. He did not participate or vote on the foregoing matter. He left the virtual Planning Committee meeting.
That the proposed City of Barrie Official Plan 2051, provided as Appendix “A” to Staff Report DEV001-22, be amended by replacing the following sections:
6.4.2 Affordable Housing e) iv) All new residential development and redevelopment in Medium Density and High Density land use designations shall provide 15% of their housing units as affordable, in accordance with policy 2.5(l), unless a greater percentage is required as per the applicable policies in Section 2.3, across a range of unit sizes, including three-bedroom units or larger; and,
2.5 General Land Use Policies I) The City will require the provision of a minimum of 15% of all new housing units each year to be affordable housing, as per the policies in Section 6.4.2 of this Plan. The City will be guided by provincial direction and the City’s Affordable Housing Strategy to implement this affordable housing target.
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY TASK FORCE
Council adopted the following:
1. That the recommendations of the Housing Affordability Task Force Report dated January 10, 2022 be supported in principle.
2. That staff in the Development Services and Building Departments, and Mayor’s Office report back to General Committee by February 14, 2022 via memo with intended timelines and resource requests associated with implementing the Housing Affordability Task Force recommendations, if any.
3. That staff in the Development Services Department be authorized to apply to the Federal Housing Accelerator Fund or any other funding opportunities for a grant to resource and support the recommendations within the Housing Affordability Task Force Report dated January 10, 2022, as soon as possible.
4. That the Housing Affordability Task Force recommendation to hire a dedicated position in the Development Services Department to expand and oversee all housing affordability initiatives be actioned immediately, with funding for the position to be provided from the Reinvestment Reserve if grant funding is not received.
5. That the Housing Affordability Task Force recommendation to allocate funding from the Reinvestment Reserve to a new Supportive Housing Fund in 2022 and potential supportive housing projects be subject to an in-camera Council discussion concerning potential supportive housing projects, to be scheduled on or before January 31, 2022, and conditional as well on support from the County of Simcoe.
6. That, in the interest of creating more subsidized housing in the City of Barrie, the County of Simcoe be requested to examine the potential for increased density for the proposed Simcoe County Housing Corporation (SCHC) project at the former OPP Station site at Rose Street/Highway 400.
7. That a one-time grant of $20,000 funded from the Reinvestment Reserve be provided to the County of Simcoe through the John Howard Society of Simcoe Muskoka to fund additional overnight warming capacity in the City of Barrie, and that the County of Simcoe be requested to match this funding.
8. That the City open a warming only facility, when an extreme cold weather alert is issued by Environment Canada or the temperature or wind chill is expected to reach -20°C for at least two (2) hours. (Item for Discussion 8.3, January 10, 2022)
CITY-WIDE AMENDMENT TO COMPREHENSIVE ZONING BY-LAW 2009-141 FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION MEMORANDUM
1. That the proposed City initiated amendment to Zoning By-law 2009-141 outlined in Appendix “A” to Staff Report DEV021-21 be approved with the following amendments:
2. That the proposed amendment to Site Plan Control By-law 99-312 be approved as outlined in Appendix “B” to Staff Report DEV021-21.
3. That Fees By-law 2021-020 be updated to include a new application fee of $307.77 under Schedule K, Section 11 for scoped site plan review of detached accessory dwelling units.
4. That the proposed amendment to the Second Suites Registration By-law 2020-010 be approved as outlined in Appendix “C” to Staff Report DEV021-21.
5. That the written and oral submissions received relating to the application, have been, on balance, taken into consideration as part of the deliberations and final decision related to the approval of the Zoning By-law Amendment, as amended, including matters raised in the submissions and identified within Staff Report DEV021-21.
6. That, in accordance with Section 34(17) of the Planning Act, no further public meeting is required to finalize the proposed by-law.
7. That staff in the Development Services Department prepare a revised map indicating eligible properties for detached accessory dwelling units by the October 4, 2021 City Council meeting. (DEV021-21) (File: D30-007-2021)
COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT PLAN GRANT APPROVALS SUMMARY - FEBRUARY TO MAY 2021
1. That Staff Report DEV019-21 regarding the status of the Community Improvement Plan (CIP) Grant Program be received for information purposes.
2. That 50 percent of the funds from the current balance associated with allocations for redevelopment and preservation of built heritage grant programs within the CIP Reserve be reallocated to the Affordable Housing Grant Program, to replenish the balance and continue funding development charges and per door grants for affordable housing projects in 2021. (DEV019-21) (File: F11-CIP)
QUICK START FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS ON INSTITUTIONAL LANDS
Council approved the following:
1. That the Development Services Department, supported by the Affordable Housing Task Force, write to all owners of institutionally designated properties in Barrie indicating the intention to allow housing as-of-right on their properties, and inviting them to contact the City to discuss the potential for the construction of affordable housing on their properties and that the Affordable Housing Task Force report back to Council on success of the program in encouraging applications from interested property owners by December, 2021 and further contact places of worship designated residential with the potential developable lands for the same purpose.
2. That once projects are determined, staff in the Development Services Department seek proposals from consultants in accordance with the Procurement By-law to conduct feasibility studies for affordable housing projects on institutionally and residential designated properties owned by non-profit or charitable organizations to be funded by the Community Benefit Reserve for a total of up to 10 studies at a cost of up to $20,000 each.
3. That staff in the Development Services Department report back to Council by way of a memorandum of other ways to potentially provide financial incentives to institutions providing housing, including the discounting of development charges partial or complete, and other ways of reducing application fees and soft costs. (Item for Discussion 8.1, August 9, 2021)
REDWOOD PARK COMMUNITIES GRANT APPLICATIONS TO THE CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION
WHEREAS there is a significant need in the City of Barrie to provide additional supportive and social housing for people facing and experiencing homelessness; and
WHEREAS Redwood Park Communities has a strong track record of involvement with social housing in the City of Barrie; and
WHEREAS Redwood Park Communities has applied for grant funding for two housing projects in the City of Barrie from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation; and
WHEREAS the Barrie City Council adopted motion 21-G-188 to provide an interest free loan up to $3,000,000 with conditions, including the loan being subject to approval of application for grant funding by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, for the two housing projects that Redwood Park Communities intends to commence in Barrie.
NOW THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED as follows:
1. That the City of Barrie strongly urges Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation to approve the grant applications submitted by Redwood Park Communities to provide funding for both their projects in the City of Barrie at the earliest opportunity.
2. That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the County of Simcoe, Doug Shipley MP, John Brassard MP, Ahmed Hussen MP, Adam Vaughan MP, Andrea Khanjin MPP, and Doug Downey MPP. (Item for Discussion 8.2, August 9, 2021) Sponsor: Councillor, C. Riepma
INTERIM CONSTRUCTION FINANCING - REDWOOD PARK COMMUNITIES
Watch the discussion of General Committee
AFFORDABLE HOUSING MONITORING REPORT 2018, 2019 AND 2020
ZONING BY-LAW AMENDMENT APPLICATION - CORAL SOPHIA LANE HOUSING INC. - 113 AND 117 BAYFIELD STREET AND 6, 8, 10 AND 12 SOPHIA STREET EAST (WARD 2)
Council approved an Amendment to the Zoning By-law application to rezone lands to allow a
proposed development at 113 & 117 Bayfield St and 6, 8 & 12 Sophia St E. The proposed development would result in the creation of 70 Affordable Housing Units.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING TASK FORCE
Council approved a motion that included the establishment of an Affordable Housing Task Force. The task force will be mandated to report to General Committee by the end of 2021 with a plan to co-ordinate County, City, and charitable/not-for-profit housing projects and policies, to aggressively expand the supply of affordable housing, with particular emphasis on addressing the hardest to house. The task force will be comprised of interested members of Council, stakeholder organizations from the downtown, cultural, and housing communities as identified by the Chairs, and staff as identified by the Chief Administrative Officer and/or the Executive Management Team. The task force will provide updates via memorandum to Council in June, 2021 and September, 2021.
MODULAR SUPPORTIVE HOUSING PROJECT - VESPRA STREET
Council approved a motion that a Capital Project be added to the 2021 Capital Plan entitled “Modular Supportive Housing Project - Vespra Street” with funding of $3 million (inclusive of the $500,000 estimated to be required for soil remediation).
Council also directed that staff in the Corporate Facilities, Development Services and Legal Services Departments in consultation with the County of Simcoe issue a call for proposals for a service provider to construct and manage the build and operate the housing units, and that staff report back to the
General Committee with the results of the proposals received.
SUPPORT FOR THE REDWOOD PARK COMMUNITIES APPLICATION TO THE CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION - RAPID HOUSING INITIATIVE
In December 2020, Council endorsed their support of the applications made by the County of Simcoe and by Redwood Park Communities for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) funding that addresses urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians. These submissions are currently being reviewed by CMHC.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON SURPLUS CITY OWNED PROPERTIES - NEXT STEPS TO BE TAKEN (WARD 2)
Council approved a motion that the Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment and Geotechnical Review completed by WSP Canada Inc. Staff were also directed to engage with social and non-profit housing providers, and report
back to General Committee with the results of the consultation and recommend the next steps to be taken to dispose of the Subject Properties to a Housing Provider for the creation of affordable housing.
PROPOSED OFFICIAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND ZONING BY-LAW AMENDMENT: SECOND SUITES PERMISSIONS IN THE GEORGIAN NEIGHBOURHOOD STUDY BOUNDARY AREA (WARDS 1, 2 AND 3)
In January 2020, Council passed By-law Number 2020-017 (OPA No. 072) & By-law Number 2020-018 to lift the restriction on second suites in the
Georgian College Neighbourhood Study Boundary Area.
CITY INITIATED AMENDMENTS TO COMPREHENSIVE ZONING BY-LAW 2009-141
In November 2019, Council approved By-law Number 2019-115 which amended the Zoning By-law and made it easier to build a second suite and provide other forms of affordable housing by:
SURPLUSSING OF CITY OWNED PROPERTIES FOR THE CREATION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING - 65 VESPRA STREET AND 70 AND 72 VICTORIA STREET (WARD 2)
Council approved a motion that 65 Vespra Street and 70 & 72 Victoria Street be declared surplus to the needs of The Corporation of the City of Barrie, that the environmental studies and related work necessary to determine the development potential of the subject properties be undertaken, and that staff be directed to develop terms for a public tender process subsequent to the completion of the environmental studies.
Affordable housing encompasses a range of housing types allowing all residents to find suitable living space without spending a disproportionate percentage of their income. It can include ownership, rental or social housing.
Affordable Housing is defined by the Provincial Policy Statement as well as the City’s
Official Plan as:
Affordable housing is a complex and multi-faceted issue. No single level of government or element is the cause or can be held responsible for the solution. It is all of our collective efforts that will generate results.
Housing is a basic and fundamental need. Access to safe, affordable and adequate housing promotes:
Housing is an essential factor for health and wellness. Research shows that people who experience stable, secure and affordable housing are better able to manage their health situations for positive outcomes. Though everyone experiences the same spectrum of illness, the severity and frequency of illness in people who are homeless is much higher. Stability and affordability of housing helps people maintain the level of care they need through the ability to purchase healthier foods, follow a prescribed diet, attend follow-up medical appointments and manage medications.
Having a home increases a resident’s opportunity to participate in the social and economic fabric of our community. Access to needed health and social services, ability to fully participate in the work force and even influence the decisions made by various levels of governments all become a possibility.
Affordable housing has a long-lasting impact on our city’s future success by building a strong foundation of education in our youth. Research shows a correlation between poor quality housing and the ability to focus at school, which has many negative impacts for children: increased stress, frequent absenteeism and lack of participation all lead to poor academic performance.
Affordable housing is closely linked to economic status. For instance, Barrie is a tourist destination with an abundance of winter and summer activities, making it an important source for economic stability. However, people working within this sector often earn minimum wage. Lack of affordable living options for people earning minimum wage puts our tourism and hospitality sector at risk.
Affordable housing affects more than the hospitality industry. Barrie is constantly aiming to diversify its labour market by introducing more industry and economic opportunity. Both labour and housing availability are key considerations in business location decisions. Businesses need a ready labour supply to function, yet there must be affordable housing options for labourers moving to work for that business.
Creating affordable housing for our citizens will foster a sense of personal and public safety. Spending too much of one’s income on housing means less money for basic needs like food and clothing. To make up for the shortfall, some people may turn to petty theft, public begging and even prostitution. More affordable housing options would minimize the risk of these broader social issues.
Affordable housing creates a more inclusive environment for everyone regardless of age, sex, income level, ability, socio/economic standing, family type or national origin.
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