Making positive change in Centre Wellington

Attainable housing

The dominant form of housing in Wellington County: no longer affordable for moderate and low income households.

The County of Wellington has released a new report called “Attainable Housing Strategy”. Here is the problem as stated in the report:

“The dominant form of housing in the County is single detached dwellings which is a type of housing that is no longer affordable for moderate income households. Current data regarding housing supply indicates that the total number of newly constructed units is not on the rise, while housing prices are increasing. In addition, the rental market is experiencing similar challenges with respect to attainability. The County’s vacancy rate of 1% is also making acquiring rental housing difficult.”

The report makes a number of recommendations in three categories:

County Action Oriented Initiatives

  1. Encouraging the creation of a Community Land Trust [CLT].
  2. Incorporating discussions surrounding attainable housing development in Pre-Application Consultation Meetings with builders/developers.
  3. Passing Demolition Control By-laws to assist in the preservation of rental units.
  4. Locating existing publicly held sites such as school sites or underutilized hotels/motel sites which would be appropriate to convert for rental units.
  5. Developing a Public-Private Partnerships Task Force and obtain CMHC funding to undertake detailed research about innovative building forms and construction methods. The Task Force would also be responsible for locating areas in the County to support this type of innovative housing.
  6. The establishment of Communal Workforce Housing as a short-term
  7. Conducting an analysis of servicing availability in the County, both
    existing and future capacity, and developing a database to compile this data.

Policy Based Recommendations

  1. The Establishment of an Attainable Housing Growth Target.
  2. Density bonusing.
  3. Streamlining of the planning approvals process [i.e. implementing a
    Development Permit System].
  4. Strengthening and updating the Official Plan policies regarding second units.

Financial Incentives

  1. Development Charge reductions or exemptions.
  2. A reduction in Parkland Dedication requirements.
  3. Planning Application and Building Permit fee reductions and/or
  1. Available Housing: provided for purchase or for rent and subject to no
    public intervention.
  2. Attainable Housing: provided for purchase or for rent and subject to
    public intervention at time of purchase or construction only.
  3. Assisted Housing: rental accommodation and subject to on going
    public intervention in order to secure retention.