Tag Archives: Sean Campbell

CKMS News -2024-06-26- Waterloo approves affordable housing tax exemption, extending regional program

CKMSNews-2024-06-26-CKMS News -2024-06-26- Waterloo approves affordable housing tax exemption, extending regional program

dan kellar
Waterloo, ON – On June 24th, Waterloo council voted unanimously to approve the city’s Affordable Housing Property Tax Exemption Program, extending a regional program which was approved earlier this year. After the vote, Waterloo Mayor Doroty McCabe said the program “will make a real difference in our community”. 

The program exempts owners of affordable housing units from paying property taxes on the properties, provided that at least 30% of the units in a building are affordable, and that the affordable rents must be provided for a term of 60 years, or the remaining useful life of the building.  

This show features clips from the June 24th council meeting, primarily of the single delegate, Sean Campbell the executive director of Union Co-op, an organisation which operates two buildings in Kitchener with affordable units. Campbell supports the new by-law, noting it would make it easier to bring more buildings into community ownership and provide even more “permanent affordability”.

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.