Increasing Housing Choices in Neighbourhoods Study

Overview

The Increasing Housing Choices in Neighbourhoods (IHCN) study launched in 2021. This ongoing study is looking at different ways to add more housing options to Mississauga neighbourhoods.

Introducing more housing options in low-rise neighbourhoods – or “gentle density” – can help:

  • Give residents more housing choices in the neighbourhoods they want to live in.
  • Support residents as they move through different life stages.
  • Revive neighbourhoods with population decline by bringing more people and homes to areas with parks, schools, community centres and libraries already in place.

Public feedback is an important part of the IHCN study. As the study progresses, there will continue to be opportunities to provide input to the project team.


Update: Status of New Housing Options

The IHCN project is an important part of the City’s Housing Action Plan to get more homes built. Here is an overview of the status of the new housing options under review:

  1. Additional Residential Units: The City’s engagement for ARUs – homes such as triplexes, garden suites, garage conversions and laneways suites is now complete. On October 23, 2023, Mississauga’s Planning and Development Committee approved the recommendations for the City’s new zoning and official plan rules to allow up to three residential units on one lot. It also outlines the right lot size for one or two-storey ARUs and gives direction on their size and height.

  2. Fourplexes: New zoning and official plan rules to allow residents to build four units on low-rise residential lots is now complete. On November 29, 2023, Mississauga’s Planning and Development Committee approved the recommendations for the City’s new zoning and official plan rules to allow up to four residential units on one lot.

    For more information on options 1. and 2. please see the Building more units on your property website.

  3. Semi-detached homes and smaller lots: The City is working on a project to update the number of residential zones in Mississauga. The goal of this project is to expand low-rise housing options by removing barriers for semi-detached homes and houses on smaller lots. On October 23, 2023, City staff presented an information report outlining best practices and analysis. Staff are working towards final recommendations in late 2024.

  4. Multiplexes: The City will also be reviewing how to permit multiplexes (more than four units) across Mississauga. The review will include public engagement and consultation with the City’s Housing Panel. Staff will provide more information on the review in 2024-2025 and bring recommendations for Council approval in 2025.

  5. Community Land Trust: One of the options currently being explored is a Community Land Trust, which would bring land out of the market and into a trust. A non-profit organization would manage the land and create affordable housing among other initiatives such as urban agriculture, community spaces, and green spaces.

Overview

The Increasing Housing Choices in Neighbourhoods (IHCN) study launched in 2021. This ongoing study is looking at different ways to add more housing options to Mississauga neighbourhoods.

Introducing more housing options in low-rise neighbourhoods – or “gentle density” – can help:

  • Give residents more housing choices in the neighbourhoods they want to live in.
  • Support residents as they move through different life stages.
  • Revive neighbourhoods with population decline by bringing more people and homes to areas with parks, schools, community centres and libraries already in place.

Public feedback is an important part of the IHCN study. As the study progresses, there will continue to be opportunities to provide input to the project team.


Update: Status of New Housing Options

The IHCN project is an important part of the City’s Housing Action Plan to get more homes built. Here is an overview of the status of the new housing options under review:

  1. Additional Residential Units: The City’s engagement for ARUs – homes such as triplexes, garden suites, garage conversions and laneways suites is now complete. On October 23, 2023, Mississauga’s Planning and Development Committee approved the recommendations for the City’s new zoning and official plan rules to allow up to three residential units on one lot. It also outlines the right lot size for one or two-storey ARUs and gives direction on their size and height.

  2. Fourplexes: New zoning and official plan rules to allow residents to build four units on low-rise residential lots is now complete. On November 29, 2023, Mississauga’s Planning and Development Committee approved the recommendations for the City’s new zoning and official plan rules to allow up to four residential units on one lot.

    For more information on options 1. and 2. please see the Building more units on your property website.

  3. Semi-detached homes and smaller lots: The City is working on a project to update the number of residential zones in Mississauga. The goal of this project is to expand low-rise housing options by removing barriers for semi-detached homes and houses on smaller lots. On October 23, 2023, City staff presented an information report outlining best practices and analysis. Staff are working towards final recommendations in late 2024.

  4. Multiplexes: The City will also be reviewing how to permit multiplexes (more than four units) across Mississauga. The review will include public engagement and consultation with the City’s Housing Panel. Staff will provide more information on the review in 2024-2025 and bring recommendations for Council approval in 2025.

  5. Community Land Trust: One of the options currently being explored is a Community Land Trust, which would bring land out of the market and into a trust. A non-profit organization would manage the land and create affordable housing among other initiatives such as urban agriculture, community spaces, and green spaces.

Questions

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  • Parking will inevitably be required as schools, shopping, hospitals, etc are not in our local area, and as infill is permitted causing an explosion of overcrowding in finite areas people will demand the use of their cars. So does the city plan to expand permitted parking on residential streets? Has the planning department discussed and found solutions to this high increase in density? Of course, the increased tax base is enticing and a major consideration but will the result also include infrastructure infill such as schools, groceries, transportations, etc? The city may have plans but they must also address residents' needs and wants too. Many doubts arise as to the thoroughness of the examination of the ramifications of this future plan.

    Sylvia Port Credit asked over 1 year ago

    Thank you for your question. Mississauga initiated the IHCN study to address a Provincial requirement to allow for more housing options in neighbourhoods while also maintaining the planned character of the neighbourhood. Our approach was to balance intensification while also maintaining the planned character of the neighbourhood.

    Through the IHCN study we have also examined infrastructure capacity through coordination with the Region of Peel (this includes water and wastewater servicing). In addition, the City proactively plans to ensure there is enough capacity for all future planned development in regards to parks, schools, and transportation networks.  Our analysis also indicates that there would be adequate required parking on site to meet the needs of residents.  The City is currently undergoing a city-wide parking study that is contemplating on-street parking permits. Please contact their team with your comments: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/parking-matters 

    It should be noted that when provisions of IHCN has been introduced in other cities, there has not been a large number of units built, relatively compared to other forms of high-rise and townhouse infill development. This means that the impacts of these types of accessory residential units are expected to be minimal compared to the regular pace of development in the City.

  • When will we be able to live in these homes? I am looking forward to living in a home.

    heidi.wolker asked about 2 years ago

    Thank you for your comment and we are happy to hear you see yourself living in one of these housing options.

    To clarify, the City of Mississauga would not be building these homes. The purpose of this study is to develop policies so that these housing options are permitted in Mississauga. It’s challenging to determine the exact timing of when these homes will be built. But we can share that next year we’re planning to take policies to City Council for their review and approval. Those policies will outline where they could be built and how. We hope that gives some idea of timing of when these housing options could be available.

  • All of the diverse kinds of housing look promising and seem as though they will help create more options for Mississauga residents who are looking for housing. I was wondering when residents might be able to see this kind of alternative housing actually get built in the city? I understand that these kinds of policy changes and the physical building of homes take time, but there are people who want and need more diverse housing in the city right now. Is it possible that we could begin seeing new kinds of housing developments within the next decade?

    Wenwan Zhao asked about 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question and interest in this study.

    We also see an urgent need for more diverse housing options in Mississauga. Therefore, the plan is to bring policies to Council early next year for approval, which would permit a diversity of housing options in our neighbourhoods. The goal is at least within the next decade, we see more of these housing options being developed in the city.

    Something we have to consider is we not only want to have more diverse housing options be built in Mississauga and quickly, but also that these housing units are affordable, accessible, and functional. We want to ensure these units are livable for all life stages and are of high quality.

    Another aspect we have to consider is how the application processes and costs affect how fast these housing options can be developed. The team, therefore, is also looking at how to make the development process more efficient and ensure development costs are less of a barrier to building a diversity of housing.

    I appreciate your feedback and encourage you to continue to follow our study. Please also ensure you’ve subscribed to the project website in the top right-hand corner: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/increasing-housing-choices-in-neighbourhoods-study.

    I’m interested in hearing more of your feedback as we continue this process.

  • Investors now make up the largest group of Buyers according to The Globe and Mail and are among the biggest contributors to higher home prices. Since housing is at an all time premium for semis and detached, what is the city’s plan to deter investors from investing in those types of properties designed for large families? Does the city plan to limit the amount of low rise properties that investors can own within the city?

    Aislamovic asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. The City is aware of how investor-owned properties can contribute to housing affordability issues. Unfortunately the City does not have the ability to impose foreign buyer's tax, regulate who purchases property in the City, or other local measures to discourage such investing behaviour.

    However, the following is information about current government initiatives that are addressing speculative investor activity and supporting home ownership: 

    Region of Peel

    - Vacant Home Tax: this vacant residential unit tax is applied to properties that are left unoccupied. It's meant to discourage investors from making speculative purchases by encouraging them to either sell or rent their homes instead of leaving it vacant. This approach helps to ensure that residential units are put to their intended use – housing.

    The Region of Peel commenced a study earlier this year to investigate the potential to implement this tax and City staff have been involved in the study. The report could be found here: https://pub-peelregion.escribemeetings.com/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=17157.

    It's anticipated the results of the study will be presented to Regional Council early next year. Note that Provincial approval is ultimately required to implement this tax.

     

    City of Mississauga

    - Community Land Trusts: the City of Mississauga is currently conducting the Increasing Housing Choices in Neighbourhoods study to improve housing options in neighbourhoods for the community. One of the options currently being explored is a Community Land Trust, which would bring land out of the market and into a trust. A non-profit organization would manage the land and create affordable housing among other initiatives such as urban agriculture, community spaces, and green spaces. This would ensure land is removed from speculative investor activity, affordable housing is provided in perpetuity, and land is managed for community benefit.

    For more information, see and subscribe to the project website: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/increasing-housing-choices-in-neighbourhoods-study

    - Inclusionary Zoning: this is one of the tools the City has been working collaboratively with the Region of Peel to develop in order to improve housing affordability in Mississauga. It allows the City to require a portion of new units in future developments located in priority transit areas to be provided at affordable rates. Buyers who make below a certain income can only purchase the affordable units.

    For more information, see and subscribe to the project website: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/inclusionary-zoning-policy-for-affordable-housing

    - Purpose-Built Rental: although investor-owned properties is a growing concern, investor condos have the potential to provide much needed rental supply in markets where no new purpose-built rental housing has been built. The City of Mississauga's Housing Strategy has actions to improve purpose-built rental units in the City so investor-owned properties are not the only source of rental supply in Mississauga: https://www.mississauga.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/24131711/Affordable_Housing_Strategy_Appendix12-Web.pdf

    Province of Ontario

    - Non-Resident Speculation Tax: The Province of Ontario implemented a Non-Resident Speculation Tax on the purchase of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which includes the City of Mississauga / Region of Peel. 

    A 15% tax is applied to transactions involving up to 6 residential units and include a foreign entity / corporation or taxable trustee. For more information, see the following website:  https://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/bulletins/nrst/

    Federal Government

    The federal government also has the power to disincentivize through other means such as applying the capital gains tax on the sale of investment properties. The City plays an advocacy role in encouraging senior levels of government to consider using mechanisms such as these.

    Addressing the affordability issues in Mississauga and elsewhere in the GTA requires a multi-governmental, multi-pronged approach. We encourage you to follow these initiatives and engage in them by providing your feedback.

  • Hello, My question is related to the question asked by Shirley L. below. Few years ago, the City of Toronto had a program allowing young adults to rent rooms or units with seniors who wished to live independently but wanted some assistance with home maintenance (yard work, snow clearance etc.), as well as some friendly companionship. In return the rents of these units are more affordable than market rates which is extremely high currently. Can City of Mississauga consider a similar program as a means of increasing housing choices? I can think of many benefits - leverage existing houses/units to the maximum in addition to adding new units (Increase density/existing housing unit), prevent social isolation in young adults & seniors living alone (improving mental health in many cases), exchange of life experiences between two generations, opportunity for young adults to experience home ownership responsibilities, enabling senior population to live independently (out of care homes) longer etc. While adding new housing units is important I would also request the City to consider making the most of existing properties and resources and gauge if there is interest for such a program in the local community. Thanks!

    RV asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. Mississauga is currently participating in the Region of Peel’s HomeShare pilot, which is run by the same organization, National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE), as the program in Toronto that you referenced. The program matches older adults who want to age in their homes with students who need a place to live and who can help around the house in exchange for reduced rent. The entire process, from application to finding an appropriate home share match, is carefully overseen by NICE social workers in accordance with all COVID-19 protocols. Additional details on this program are available on the City’s website: https://www.mississauga.ca/city-of-mississauga-news/news/do-you-have-a-spare-room-available-partner-with-peel-homeshare/  

    The Increasing Housing Choices in Neighbourhoods Study is also looking at how to support home sharing on a longer term basis than this pilot and developing planning policies.

     

  • Hi! I'm a young adult currently living in a multi-generational home in Mississauga. I see that Mississauga has been really focused on walkability and community recently, which is great! One thing that is really prohibiting progress in this area is that we have vast residential areas without any stores or restaurants due to zoning laws. Some of the most walkable suburbs are in Toronto, where you can find small grocery/convenience stores or restaurants at the end of a row of houses. This means you can actually walk out the door and grab milk and bread and get back in 5 minutes - true "walkablity". In Mississauga, you usually would get in your car to do the same thing. I'm wondering if there's been any talk of allowing multi-zoning to let people run these types of businesses in converted homes/garages? I think it would add character and community to the neighborhoods since you would run into neighbours there and have more opportunity to get to know each other. This would also support small business owners since the convenience of proximity would draw people away from big box stores. Restricted operating hours could be implemented on these businesses to preserve quiet in the evenings.

    Maya Bielecki asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. Your input is important to us and will inform our work on evaluating land use permissions as they relate to residential designations.  Please note that, through the Mississauga Official Plan Review, we are looking at ways to protect small convenience commercial plazas within neighbourhoods and to strengthen complete communities policies and directions. One of the policy directions we are advancing aims to reinforce the planned function of neighbourhood “Convenience Commercial” designations and emphasize their importance as providers of local shopping for the day-to-day needs of residents within walking and cycling distance. You can read more on these and other related policy directions on the official plan review page: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/official-plan-review .

  • Montreal has many medium-density developments including duplexes, triplexes and low-rise condo/apartments. These communities encourage walking/biking because of their distances from business (e.g. grocery stores). Could Mississauga learn from and replicate Montreal's "missing middle housing"?

    1918919 asked almost 3 years ago

    Thank you for your question and for giving us feedback to consider Montreal's approach.

    Our study can certainly learn from Montreal as well as other cities in Ontario (e.g. Ottawa and Hamilton) to implement missing middle housing. 

    Something we’ll have to consider when looking to Montreal is that most of their development occurred between the 1800’s to early 1900’s. This is when small-scale apartments were a more desirable development form and a dense street network was being established. This created ideal conditions for duplexes, triplexes, and multiplexes, for example, to really establish themselves in Montreal’s neighbourhoods.

    In comparison, most of Mississauga’s development occurred post-war and took a more suburban approach that was dependent on cars. We’ve started to change this approach so that we’re creating completing communities where everyone can live, work, and go to school in the same city, as well as get groceries, go to the park, and access services within a shorter distance.

    Despite those differences between Mississauga and Montreal, we’re still looking at how duplexes, triplexes, and multiplexes could be implemented in the Mississauga context. As you’ve mentioned, these forms have potential to provide more housing choices in our city. We’re also investigating other housing forms like coach houses/garden houses, laneway suites, and garage conversions.

    We really appreciate your idea to look at Montreal’s approach to housing so we hope you can join us at future community engagements. These will be posted on the engagement page: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/increasing-housing-choices-in-neighbourhoods-study

    There’s also a survey and photo submission exercise that you can participate in so we can get more feedback from you on how to implement these housing forms in the city: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/increasing-housing-choices-in-neighbourhoods-study/news_feed/take-the-survey-and-share-your-photos

    Thank you again for your feedback and we hope you take care.

    Sincerely,

    Elizabeth

  • I am a single senior female living alone, and interested in knowing of any plans for seniors housing (own or rent) that would assist with independent living, in a multiple unit facility with perhaps one "custodian" or "supervisor" resident, who would be on call should an emergency occur. i.e. an apartment style building, with common area for meeting other people, but not a privately run care home. I believe this would provide social stimulation for seniors who do not need to live in a care home!

    Shirley L. asked about 3 years ago

    Thank you for your question and feedback on senior housing living preferences. Enabling Mississauga residents to age within their communities is a key goal for the City. Senior living like how you’ve mentioned can be done in different ways and be provided by various organizations. 

    There are retirement homes which seem to align with what you’re describing. They’re different from long term care homes and can accommodate independent living with some supports should residents need help. Retirement homes are usually operated by private companies and they could be found around Mississauga. This website lists those retirement home options and the different supports they may offer: https://www.mississaugahaltonhealthline.ca/listservices.aspx?id=10158.

    Another option is to inquire with the Region of Peel and their housing corporation, Peel Living. They have some options in Mississauga for senior housing for those 65 years old and over. Here is a link to their website and where you can find their contact information to ask about unit availability: https://www.peelregion.ca/peelliving/.

    The City of Mississauga’s Increasing Housing Choices in Neighbourhood’s study is also looking at different housing types and arrangements to implement in the city so that residents have more choice on where and how they live as they go through different life stages. For example, housing types like duplexes, triplexes, and multiplexes, as well as housing arrangements like co-ownership or home share could provide seniors with independent living options within communities. The outcome of this study is to create policies that allow more of these housing options to be developed in Mississauga. 

    We encourage you to continue coming back to this project page for updates, future engagement opportunities, and to post more questions or ideas we should consider: https://yoursay.mississauga.ca/increasing-housing-choices-in-neighbourhoods-study.

    I hope this answers your questions and provides a starting point for seeking different senior living options in Mississauga!

    Sincerely,

    Elizabeth

Page last updated: 29 May 2024, 09:58 AM