Local Liberal MPs including Fred Dev Ont minister Filomena Tassi announced that Hamilton will receive $93 Million from the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) The City was required to submit a Housing Action Plan Identifying City initiatives, to be funded through the HAF, that would increase construction of new housing. Tassi said the funding will support the construction of over 2,000 new units of housing.
The City’s Housing Action Plan, as approved by the federal government, includes the following initiatives:
Acceleration Program for Accessory Dwelling Units and Multi-plex Conversions
The City will create a new “Acceleration Team” to expedite the review and approval of applications for accessory dwelling units such as basement apartments and laneway homes, and for the conversion of existing dwellings into multi-unit dwellings. The City will also create new information materials, supports and financial incentives such as fee waivers for homeowners who wish to create these units. An additional incentive program will be created for the creation of affordable accessory dwelling units.
Rapid Transit Multi-Residential Rental Housing Grant Program
The City will create a new incentive program to support the creation of new low to moderate market purpose-built rental housing units along the City’s Rapid Transit Network.
Land and Property Disposition and Acquisition Program for Housing
The City will create a dedicated team within the City’s Real Estate Section to identify and implement opportunities for disposition of City-owned lands and acquisition of under-utilized lands and properties for the purpose of developing affordable housing. The team will also identify opportunities for the integration of new housing as part of future municipal building projects.
New and Enhanced Incentive Programs for Housing Development
The City will create or expand programs and incentives that promote the development of housing across the City. This will include implementing the necessary programs, changes to City policy frameworks, and enhancements to existing incentive programs with a view to meeting the current challenges facing proponents of market housing, rental housing and affordable housing.
Housing Acceleration Zoning Reform Program
The City will continue and expand its ongoing work to update the City’s zoning and land use policies to provide as-of-right permissions for new housing development. This includes continuing to extend as-of-right zoning permissions for conversions and new construction of missing middle housing (e.g. duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes), reducing or eliminating minimum parking requirements, and pre-zoning transit corridors and urban nodes.
Planning Review and Studies for Rapid Transit Corridors
The City will expedite the completion of planning studies along the City’s rapid transit corridors to support higher density and mixed-use development, and to identify the infrastructure needed to support to growth.
Support Housing Development on Remediated Brownfield Sites
The City will expand its existing Environmental Remediation and Site Enhancement (ERASE) program to provide enhanced financial assistance for the remediation of brownfield lands to support new housing development, with a particular focus on non-profit affordable housing developments.
On hand for the announcement was Mike Collins-Williams of the West End home Builders who welcomed the funding. “The City of Hamilton has pledged to facilitate a more than doubling of our current rates of housing construction. This is a monumental task that will require partnerships between all three levels of government and the private sector. WE HBA is pleased to see the federal government coming to the table with a significant amount of money to help Hamilton facilitate the construction of more homes for Hamiltonians”.