The city is looking for your input at Ottawa.ca/NewOP by February 17th, 2020.
The City has developed 21 different one-page fact sheets to give people a general sense of the topics the OP will address. During the next couple of months, I will be highlighting these topics in the weekly Bay Ward Bulletin. Click here to view all the topics covered up to this issue.
Enable more housing to meet the broadest range of needs, budgets and occupancies.
The New Official Plan starts by identifying “greater flexibility, an adequate supply and diversity of housing options throughout the city” as a strategic goal. It directs a focus on density and building form, rather than about how the inside of the building is divided up. Just as importantly, it calls for development standards to illustrate clear benefit to the public interest to justify how it adds to the cost of housing.
Focus attention on groups overlooked by the conventional housing market.
Much of the housing market is geared towards owner-occupied housing: condominiums or houses to be sold to a relatively affluent single occupant, couple or family. The private market is pretty good at meeting these needs and does not need much nudging.
The free market overlooks a wide range of housing needs. One-third of Ottawa households rent their homes, and rental construction has lagged behind demand for decades. Rising rents and house prices mean that an increasing number of households now have trouble paying for suitable housing, while a growing number of individuals can not afford any type of housing.
The New Official Plan will support the whole spectrum of housing needs, from emergency shelters to rooming houses, rental apartments and freehold houses. Housing policy will encourage new and innovative approaches to housing and will provide support to protecting and growing the supply of rental housing throughout the city.
Inclusionary Zoning will be applied to the extent that Provincial legislation allows, producing new affordable units. The new supply should not be to the detriment of existing tenants; when a new development is proposed, the City will use its powers under the Planning and Municipal Acts to protect residents in existing affordable units.
Support the “missing middle” in fifteen-minute neighbourhoods.
The New Official Plan will provide support to mid-density, low-rise housing that meet a wide range of needs that traditionally have been a challenge to build. The “missing middle” housing is particularly appropriate near rapid-transit stations and commercial Mainstreets, where it can contribute to complete, walkable and healthy fifteen-minute neighbourhoods.