What affordable housing options do low-income residents and seniors have in Halton Hills? What are the Town’s plans to provide an adequate supply of these types of housing?

    In collaboration with Halton Region and other stakeholders, the Town is working towards ensuring that housing needs are met at all stages of life, including for seniors and low-income residents. 

    A variety of actions are being taken. This includes the two-unit initiative where accessory dwelling units can be created on eligible properties.  An update of the Community Improvement Plan is underway and includes consideration of potential affordable housing incentives and/or supports. 

    The Town is also building relationships with key stakeholders to identify and partner on affordable housing opportunities. Halton Region provides Rent-Geared-To-Income housing for low-income households, including for seniors.  

    The Town has also formed the Affordable Housing Working Group. The Working Group is focused on addressing local affordable housing needs, and has identified the need for affordable seniors housing as one of its priorities.

    What funds or incentives are available to developers or community groups looking to build affordable housing?

    Potential incentives and/or supports are currently being explored via the update of the Town’s Community Improvement Plan, as well as an ongoing review of best practices and other potential tools/programs. 

    The Town has already supported affordable housing projects through Town fee and/or charge waivers/deferrals. Wherever possible, funding and programs available via other levels of government are leveraged, including from Halton Region.  

    Various fees and charges apply to new home construction. How would these be mitigated for affordable housing?

    The Town is exploring a variety of potential options to address the cost and supply of affordable housing. This includes collaboration with Halton Region, who have programs that reduce development costs for affordable housing, as well as the submission of funding requests to other levels of government.   

    The update of the Town’s Community Improvement Plan will explore potential financial supports, in addition to potential tools/supports beyond the Community Improvement Plan.  

    Where can I find more information about the Town’s and Halton Region’s affordable housing programs?

    The Town has created a dedicated webpage to share affordable housing information

    In addition, the community is encouraged to provide feedback on affordable housing on the Let’s Talk Halton Hills platform.

    More information on Regional housing programs.

    Will there be affordable mandates in new developments?

    The Town has policies in its Official Plan that encourage a range of housing, including affordable housing. This includes targets in the Vision Georgetown and Destination Downtown Secondary Plans that aim to achieve an affordable housing target of 30% for all new dwelling units. 

    However, these are not currently mandatory. Mandating the provision of affordable housing in new developments could be achieved through a municipal tool called Inclusionary Zoning. This tool is currently being assessed at the Regional level through the Region’s Official Plan review. 

    Inclusionary Zoning is currently only being considered for Major Transit Station Areas (i.e., Georgetown and Acton GO stations). The Region may also decide that this tool will only be implemented in the priority Major Transit Station Areas which would be in the southern parts of Halton and hence not include Halton Hills.   

    Depending on the results of the Regional review, the Town may review this tool as part of its upcoming local Official Plan review.

    How will the design of planned affordable housing infill projects such as 17 Guelph Street fit into and enhance the neighbourhood?

    Any proposed development must go through the applicable development review process. For 17 Guelph Street, this involves a detailed technical review to ensure conformity with the Official Plan, Zoning by-law and other requirements.  

    Public consultation and input are key parts of this process, and will help shape the 17 Guelph Street project. The ultimate goal is to provide affordable housing, while at the same time enhancing and positively contributing to the overall neighbourhood.

    What lands have been identified in the Acton area for affordable housing?

    The Town is actively seeking opportunities to increase the supply of affordable housing throughout Halton Hills, including in Acton. For example, an opportunity has recently been identified on a property owned by a non-profit supportive housing provider in Acton. The Town is working closely with the proponents as they advance the project.

    Have rent-to-own and rental options been explored?

    Rent to own and rental options are generally considered to be more affordable types of housing. Where feasible, they are being explored and/or implemented by affordable housing developers and providers. The Town does not control the tenure for proposed developments on private land.

    What is the process for legalizing an existing basement apartment?

    Existing illegal accessory dwelling units may be legalized through a registration process provided that the existing two-unit house complies with the Zoning By-law, Property Standards By-law, Ontario Building Code and/or Fire Code.  

    There are different ways for an existing unit to be legalized, depending on the date when the original unit was put in place. In general, there are two processes. 

    For basement apartments that existed prior to July 1994, proof must be submitted that the unit existed prior to that date. Compliance with applicable regulations such as the Fire Code is required. Contact the Town’s Zoning office to discuss required documentation at 905-873-2600 ext. 2320. 

    Basement apartments created after July 1994 need to go through the building permit process. Contact the Town’s Building Services staff to discuss your specific circumstances, applicable regulations, and process for legalization: 905-873-2600 ext. 2324.

    Are “granny flats” legal in Halton Hills?

    The establishment of new granny flats or accessory dwelling units within a detached accessory structure is not permitted. Expanding permissions for different types of accessory dwelling units in buildings detached from the primary dwelling will be explored as part of the Town's upcoming Official Plan Review.

    Are new homes required to have basement windows that are large enough to make a basement apartment safe and legal?

    Window sizes in a residential building are dictated by certain code requirements. These mainly being, the requirement for specific percentages of natural light based off the room type, the requirement for an egress window in certain instances, and a requirement for natural ventilation.  

    In a new home construction, the basement is typically unfinished. Therefore, there is no requirement for a minimum basement window size in an unfinished space. If a basement apartment is being proposed, then certain code requirements will need to be adhered to. 

     Please note that applicable Zoning By-law, Property Standards By-law, Building Code and Fire Code provisions may apply. Contact the Town’s Building Services staff for more information: 905-873-2600 ext. 2324.

    Will affordable housing projects be fast-tracked?

    At this time there is no specific process for fast-tracking affordable housing projects. However, by allocating dedicated staff resources to support affordable housing projects, applying for external funding, coordinating with Halton Region, and leading the redevelopment of Town assets for affordable housing, the Town is streamlining the delivery of affordable housing in Halton Hills.

    Was the use of the existing infrastructure considered for the 17 Guelph Street project?

    Any applicable infrastructure and/or site servicing issues will be considered as part of detailed project design and the development review process. In terms of the reuse of the existing building currently located on the site, due to its condition, its reuse is not being considered.    

    Would the cost for legalizing one basement apartment be similar to that of building say 12 new units?

    The cost of legalizing a basement apartment can vary significantly and would depend on individual circumstances and site-specific conditions. 

    Contact the Town’s building department to discuss the process of legalizing a basement apartment: 905-873-2600 ext. 2324.  

    Is there any financial assistance available to legalize a basement to create a separate unit?

    The Town does not currently offer financial assistance to legalize basement apartments. Information on process of creating an accessory dwelling unit and the registration of two-unit houses is available on the Town’s website.

    More information on Halton Region housing supports.