Affordable Housing Strategy

Topic
Planning
Adopted
2024

Upon comparing the initiatives in the Affordable Housing Strategy, Housing Accelerator Fund Action Plan, and Municipal Housing Pledge, it is clear that there is alignment and overlap between the work required to fulfil the City’s commitments to deliver on the Federal, Provincial and local work as outlined in each plan.

Given recent Federal funding and Provincial funding announcements, staff are taking this opportunity to align all related work in an overarching Housing Strategy Implementation Plan. A report to City Council before the end of September 2024 will include an implementation plan to maximize the use of the Federal and Provincial funding with a focus on ensuring the requirements for future funding are met to the greatest extent possible with the completion of tasks that are within the control of the City.

For more detail, please read the May 2024 memo to City Council.

The City of Barrie first released a 10-year Affordable Housing Strategy in 2015. City Council approved the updated Affordable Housing Strategy on January 17, 2024, through motion 24-G-005. Development Services staff will bring forward an implementation plan, including any budget requirements, and report back to the Affordability Committee by June 2024.

Barrie’s Affordable Housing Strategy will be the guiding strategy for the City to act on housing affordability in 2024 and beyond. The strategy focuses on the housing needs of low- and moderate-income households in Barrie, while also highlighting the roles and responsibilities of Simcoe County as Service Manager (i.e., responsible for low-income housing), as well as senior levels of government.

The strategy aligns with current housing needs, affordability pressures, housing targets, affordable housing definitions, development economics, funding availability, and overall demand characteristics.

Affordable Housing Strategy Document & Appendices

The City's Role in Affordable Housing​​

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.

Addressing Affordability

The City’s Affordable Housing Strategy outlines nine actions to be taken to address affordability.

ActionStatus
1. Undertake a comprehensive review of the City’s Zoning By-lawIn Progress
2. Update the City’s existing incentive program and increase the annual budgetIn Progress
3. Use public land to deliver new affordable housingIn Progress
4. Work towards a decision faster/shorten approval timelinesFuture Project
5. Create a concierge program connecting parties who are interested in partnering to deliver new housingFuture Project
6. Enhance the Simcoe County Secondary Suite program for BarrieFuture Project
7. Enact a Rental Replacement By-law to preserve existing rental stockFuture Project
8. Continue shifting the public discourse around growth, density, and affordable housingFuture Project
9. Explore the potential for inclusionary zoningIn Progress

Additional Actions

Read the Latest Monitoring Report

"Affordable Housing" Defined

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:

In the case of home ownership, the least expensive of:

  • housing for which the purchase price results in annual accommodation costs which do not exceed 30% of gross income for low to moderate income households; or
  • housing for which the purchase price is at least 10% below the average purchase price of a resale unit in the regional market area.

In the case of rental housing, the least expensive of:

  • a unit for which the rent does not exceed 30% of gross annual income for low to moderate income households; or
  • a unit for which rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit within the regional market area.

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.