What is inclusionary zoning?

    Inclusionary zoning is an optional planning tool that municipalities can adopt to require private developers to include a certain percentage of affordable units within new, multi-unit housing developments. The tool can be used to create affordable rental and/or ownership units. The level of affordability, the proportion of affordable units, and the duration that those units must remain affordable are determined by the municipality based on a local housing needs and market feasibility, and must be set out in the inclusionary zoning policy and regulations.

    What is Affordable Housing?

    Affordable housing is generally understood to mean housing for which the cost is not so great that a household would be unable to meet their other basic needs. Provincial policy (PPS 2020) defines affordable housing more specifically as:
    1. In the case of ownership housing, the least expensive of:
      1. housing for which the purchase price results in annual accommodation costs which do not exceed 30 percent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
      2. housing for which the purchase price is at least 10 percent below the average purchase price of a resale unit in the regional market area;

    2. In the case of rental housing, the least expensive of: 
      1. a unit for which the rent does not exceed 30 percent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or 
      2. a unit for which rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit in the regional market area
    Based on the Provincial Policy Statement's definition of affordable housing, an affordable mortgage in Waterloo Region is considered to be $350,200, whereas affordable rent is $810 for a bachelor unit, $1,045 for a one-bedroom unit, $1,231 for a two-bedroom unit, and $1,300 for a three-bedroom unit.