Planning and Housing Committee News - Committee moves to encourage more housing construction in Ottawa

A graphic with Ottawa City Hall is in the background. A vertical grey stripe and a horizontal yellow stripe are in the foreground with "Planning and Housing Committee update" in the centre.

The City’s Planning and Housing Committee, on March 20, has recommended endorsing a municipal housing pledge with strategies to encourage construction of 151,000 new homes across Ottawa by 2031.

The Province assigned Ottawa’s target as part of a larger plan to support construction of 1.5 million new homes across Ontario in the next nine years. While the City does not build homes, it does provide the planning and regulatory environment to enable construction.

The housing pledge outlines actions the City will take to reach the target, including:  

  • Working with industry partners to ensure approvals for 151,000 shovel-ready homes by 2031
  • Permitting a wider diversity of housing types, densities and occupancy arrangements
  • Delivering the infrastructure and services needed to support growth
  • Partnering with senior levels of government as well as with housing providers and agencies to build more affordable housing
  • Streamlining approvals to move from concept to construction faster, including through development of a new Zoning By-law
  • Monitoring and reporting on the status of these actions and number of new homes built

The City can facilitate the housing market through these actions, but additional factors beyond the City’s control will impact whether Ottawa achieves the 2031 target of 151,000 new homes.

Since amalgamation, the City has doubled the number of residential building permits it has issued annually. The City issued more than 12,600 permits in 2022, the highest number on record, but would need to issue more than 15,000 permits per year to achieve the Province’s target. That is 20 per cent more than was issued in 2022.

This report will be considered by Council on Wednesday, March 22 to ensure the City can meet the deadline to submit the pledge to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The Committee approved a zoning amendment to facilitate a development of stacked dwellings and townhouses on Kennedy Lane East in Orléans. The applicant plans eight buildings with 81 rental units, 26 of which would be considered affordable units. The amendment would change the site’s zoning from Institutional to Residential Fourth Density, allowing for low-rise, multi-unit residential infill often referred to as missing middle housing. This report will be considered by Council on Wednesday, March 22.

Unless indicated, recommendations from this meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, April 12.

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