Tag Archives: mzo

Waterloo City Council approves community-driven changes for affordable housing project

MP Holmes, Kitchener, ON

After gathering community input, the City of Waterloo has modified its plan to develop vacant city land near Rim Park.

Michelle Lee, an Executive Officer at the City of Waterloo, highlighted how the idea of increasing building heights from 6 storeys to 12. The push for more commercial units came from the community.

The project aims to provide over 700 homes in a sustainable, affordable neighbourhood with commercial opportunities. The city has submitted the modified plan and now waits for approval for the Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO). An MZO authorizes the Minister of Municipal Affairs to fast track zoning changes on specific pieces of land.

Financial structure and long-term affordability remain critical questions still to be resolved. Staff favour land lease models, where land remains in community ownership but is leased to developers, while Sean Campbell, the Executive Director of Union Sustainable Development Cooperative, cautioned against prioritizing land leases over other potential models, highlighting that the core objective is perpetual affordability and public benefit.