City officials begin process for affordable rentals in Mississauga

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By Moushumi Charkrabarty

Special to Ontario Construction News

Building service providers and construction industry professionals in Mississauga are looking at a busy time in the near future as the city launches a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) initiative. Currently 42 per cent of renters in Mississauga face hiccups, and affordable rental housing continues to be on top of the agenda for city officials who believe the challenge can be overcome by smart planning and allocation of resources.

Intervention by the city is required when affordable housing is needed in the community, but is not supported by the market. The CIP aims to develop “new affordable purpose-built rental units by providing financial and non-financial incentives.”

Jason Bevan, Mississauga’s director of planning and strategies. explained how this would work: “In the short term, we will be engaging housing providers and outside experts to receive feedback on what incentive tools would be most effective to create new affordable rental units. Following the consultation, staff will be recommending a proposed CIP for council consideration.”

For-profit and non-profit developers are in the loop for this initiative, and city staff working on the CIP will set the appropriate affordability criteria for granting incentives.

Responding to the issue of de-linking of Mississauga from the Region of Peel and the impact that would have on the CIP, Bevan said, “The regional governance structure is currently under review by the province. Certain types of incentives (that is,  development charges and property taxes) presently have both regional and city components. Therefore a combined city-regional program is likely to be more effective. Until decisions are made at the provincial level, the city and region will continue to work together as partners on housing issues.”

“The next steps in the process are for staff to conduct a background analysis of costs and impacts of various incentives on affordability, conduct public consultation, and to prepare a draft CIP,” Bevan said. “A draft CIP is anticipated to be brought forward to council in early 2020.”

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