Lodging home licensing is on the way in Kitchener, but at Monday night’s council meeting, council took the opportunity to defer the motion until March 2024.
At last week’s council meeting, on October 30, a motion to remove restrictions on lodging houses was deferred. Councillor Bill Ioannidis introduced the deferral after questioning if fourplex apartments are a better option overall to increase affordability and if a pilot study would be a better approach to roll out licensing.
In response to those questions, at this week’s meeting, delegate Phil Marfisi noted how lodging homes differ from fourplex apartments, and that lodging homes do not require much in the way of preparation and can be occupied without additional construction or renovation. Because of this, Marfisi said, lodging homes can be a more economical mode of housing. Marfisi also explained how a lodging house pilot study would not meet the urgency of the crisis and would impede the delivery of this needed housing.
A second delegate, Lynn Intini, presented a description of lodging home residents and how the plan integrates with the city of Kitchener’s overall housing plan. She also pointed out that exclusionary zoning bylaws can have human rights implications if it restricts where people can live.
Council was informed on Monday night that the bylaw will be back in March 2024. Councillor Scott Davey moved to defer the lodging house motion as nothing would be able to be enacted until the lodging house licensing bylaw was ready anyway. Councillor Jason Deneault agreed with the deferral and noted that by deferring, more research can be done into issues such as short-term rentals that overlap and influence the affordable rental market.
You can listen to the show above