Whitby Council pledged Monday night to facilitate the development of 18,000 new homes by 2031.
Last October, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark issued a letter to the town highlighting the province’s commitment to build 1.5 million homes by 2031 and assigning Whitby a municipal housing target of 18,000 homes. Whitby was asked to demonstrate its commitment by developing a municipal housing pledge and delivering it Minster Clark by March 22, said a council statement.
“This council recognizes the need to increase the housing supply in Whitby and is pleased to make this commitment,” said Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy. “With the number of housing units already approved or in the approval process, Whitby is well on its way to meeting the target set by the province.”
Whitby’s current inventory of housing units approved or in the approval process includes 4,123 low density units, 4,925 medium density units and 9,070 high density units.
The pledge endorsed by council on March 20 lays out several strategies for accelerating Whitby’s housing supply including:
- Completing an on-going comprehensive review and update of the town’s zoning by-laws, including permissive policies to support accessory units in ground related housing forms and contemporary regulations to accommodate a wide range of housing types as-of-right;
- Continuing to implement official plan policy adjustments to increase the proportionate share of medium and high-density residential units in strategic areas of the town, such as designated centers, corridors and the Whitby GO Station and Port Whitby areas;
- Initiating an update to the Town of Whitby Official Plan to comply with recent changes to the growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and a pending new official plan for the Region of Durham;
- Initiating an update to strengthen the policy basis for medium and high-density residential units within the Whitby GO Major Transit Station Area;
- Developing a housing acceleration strategy; and
- Capitalizing on funding sources, such as the Streamline Development Fund, to further advance online portal development for Planning Act and Ontario Building Code Act related applications.
Whitby Council is requesting further dialogue with the Province on Bill 23 and the impacts that development change shortfalls could have on future town budgets.