Housing Affordability and Equity

One of the ways in which the City of Waterloo is planning for population growth (we are expected to reach 160,183 permanent residents and students by 2041) is by increasing our housing density in certain designated areas. While planning for more living units in a smaller space, we also need to consider people of all levels of income, abilities, and at different life stages. In planning for complete communities, we help ensure a variety of housing types and tenures (financial arrangements for living, such as tenant or owner-occupied) at different price points, all close to transit, employment and amenities.

The Official Plan review will evaluate existing policies and explore new policies for the development of complete communities and ensure the provision of a diversity of housing types, tenures and costs throughout the city.

More detail is available in the Housing Affordability and Equity issue brief, including:

Existing Conditions/Initiatives

  • Intensification in strategic growth areas is an opportunity to create more complete communities
  • Increasing housing density
  • Housing affordability is declining
  • Housing is needed for all life stages
  • New provincial and regional policies

Strategic Directions

  • Planning for a sufficient supply of all housing types
  • Planning for a sufficient supply of affordable housing
  • Supporting existing and emerging complete communities

Policy Considerations

  • Review residential land use policies
  • Clarify and simplify urban design policies
  • Review and confirm appropriate measurement of residential density
  • Define and support the development of a full range of housing forms on the housing continuum
  • Strengthen the planning and regulatory incentives to encourage the creation of new affordable housing
  • Strengthen policy framework to limit demolition and conversion of affordable housing
  • Support existing and emerging complete communities

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