One Consolidated Plan to Address Affordable Rental Housing in Belleville

The Belleville Planning Advisory Committee received a detailed report from City staff on October 7th which outlined a plan to align with City Council’s prioritization of addressing affordable rental accommodations.  Following in depth discussions with numerous community agencies and developers at the Housing Summit in March, City Council marked affordable housing as a priority. Council directed staff to develop a Terms of Reference for the undertaking of a housing community improvement plan that would provide incentives for affordable rental units in addition to leveraging the opportunities of the existing Brownfields Community Improvement Plan and the Downtown Community Improvement Plan. The October report provided updates on the undertaking of the new Affordable Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and the overall co-ordination of the City’s three CIP programs to create one consolidated Master CIP that will prioritize affordable rental housing.

The initial Brownfields CIP is being reviewed to determine opportunities to incentivize and prioritize the provision of affordable rental dwelling units. Potential residential dwellings in the existing downtown buildings that have the potential to be developed in the upper stories or at the rear of the buildings have been identified and the Downtown CIP will be updated to provide a holistic approach to downtown improvements to ensure all incentives are considered to promote downtown improvements as a whole.

The City has awarded Dillon Consulting the assignment of developing a new Affordable Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan (CIP), updating the City’s existing Downtown CIP and coordinating a consolidated Master CIP document that will prioritize programs related to affordable rental housing.  They will be responsible for providing a creative strategy that connects all CIP programs resulting in an investment–focused CIP, which will assist early-adopters in organizing and launching their affordable housing projects as soon as Council makes the funds available.

“Dillon has also put forward an expedited schedule which will result in a completed project by the end of January 2020,” added Stephen Ashton, Manager, Policy Planning. “This expedited schedule will provide the opportunity for Council to consider budgetary requirements to implement the CIP as part of the 2020 budget process.”

“We must find the road back to a balanced housing market and these steps are instrumental in making that happen,” added Mayor Mitch Panciuk.  “An adequate supply of rental housing needs to be created to ensure we are able to look after our residents and I encourage those involved to continue to focus on this goal as we move forward.”

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