Oakville agrees to housing pledge, but says not able to cover costs of provincially mandated growth


Published March 22, 2023 at 4:40 pm

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Oakville Council responded to legislative updates to housing and growth planning by the Ontario Government at a recent meeting. INHALTON.COM PHOTO

A commitment to build 33,000 new homes in Oakville over the next 10 years got unanimous approval from Town Council at a special meeting held earlier this week.

Council approved the Housing Pledge the province assigned to Oakville last October that outlines how it can facilitate the approvals of the new housing units.

Work on fulfilling the government pledge, says the Town, is already underway. Oakville says it recognizes its role in approval of applications, not in building housing units.

“Council and town staff will do our part to increase housing supply in order to address the immediate need for new housing including market-based, attainable, affordable, social, and assisted, for all tenancies,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“Fulfilling our pledge is contingent on the actions of our federal and provincial partners; as well as the development and housing industry. Council is committed to ensure that our growing community continues to thrive and shine.”

In an effort to move forward, Oakville highlighted 18 specific actions it needs from the Province to support its pledge.

Some of those actions include funding and delivering capital projects in and around Oakville.

Ontario’s expected surge in population will also require a commitment from the province to build supporting institutions such as schools, hospitals, daycares, and long-term care facilities; in addition to continued investment and support for local and regional public transit.

Oakville and Halton Region say they are not in a financial position to cover the costs of provincially mandated growth.

The town has pointed out it is relying on the guarantee by the Province on Nov. 30, 2022 that stated: “There should be no funding shortfall for housing enabling infrastructure because of Bill 23, provided municipalities achieve and exceed their housing pledge levels and growth targets.”

Also at the meeting, Council directed staff to send Oakville’s Housing Pledge report to Halton Region requesting their continued support to delivered the necessary infrastructure and advance Oakville’s required housing units.

The report and a letter was sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, representing Oakville’s response to the Province of Ontario’s Housing Pledge.

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