Oakville agrees to ease housing restrictions to qualify for federal funding

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Published January 23, 2024 at 4:29 pm

Oakville Apartments Sheridan

The Town of Oakville is prepared to ease restrictions on home buildings in order to qualify for a piece of the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund.

Both Burlington and Milton recently received around $20 million from the fund to help reach housing targets, but Oakville was recently told they needed to relax their rules or no money would be forthcoming.

In reaction, Oakville Town Council approved bringing forth amendments to the town’s zoning by-law that would permit four units per property across the town, along with facilitating four-storey housing within 800 metres of Sheridan College.

“Staff will review the town’s official plan and zoning by-law and prepare updates for public feedback. Following that, the amendments will go to Council for approval within three months,” said a Town spokesperson.

Council will also advocate to the Government of Canada to support the inclusion of a gentle density strategy, and to permit the conversion of suitable commercial properties near residential areas into mixed-use.

“We are committed to increasing housing opportunities and choices to respond to the diverse needs of our residents,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“We heard from several youth delegations who spoke passionately and shared their perspectives on the housing supply crisis with Council. We look forward to public feedback as we refine these latest changes to make rental housing and home ownership more achievable.”

Since last summer, Oakville has been liaising with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to secure funding from the Housing Accelerator Fund. In October 2023 and January 2024, the Federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities requested additional changes to be considered to strengthen the town’s application to the Housing Accelerator Fund.

Should the town’s application to the Housing Accelerator Fund be successful, funding from the program could be used towards the initiatives that form part of the town’s application. Together, these will enhance the availability of housing and improve the town’s application for federal funding:

The Housing Accelerator Fund is a federal program administered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to provide up to $4 billion in federal funding to local municipalities to incentivize and support initiatives that accelerate the supply of housing across Canada.

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