Regional Housing Plan

community rental units

market rate units

28,000 housing units

In the 2024-2027 Strategic Plan, the EOWC listed housing as one of the three strategic priorities. The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. The plan would require partnering with all three orders of government, as well as the private and non-profit sectors and Indigenous communities. Using a mixed-model approach, the regional housing plan has the added benefit of including an additional 21,000 market rate units, totaling 28,000 housing units.

The implementation of this plan is expected to deliver multi-billion dollar economic benefit to the Eastern Ontario region, as well as provide housing for the region’s workers, address homelessness and support those who are looking to own a home. This is key to the economic and social stability of our communities and economy.

While moving forward with the regional housing plan, the EOWC calls on the federal and provincial governments to develop a strong financial framework to support municipalities in order to better prepare, plan and implement housing and related support services.

Regional Housing Plan - Introduction

Hello and welcome to the first in a series of short emails about the EOWC’s proposed Regional Housing Plan and what it could mean for you as a chief building officer (CBO), planner or municipal CAO. This first edition is a general introduction to this ambitious housing plan. If you received this email in error or would like to unsubscribe you can easily do so at the bottom of this email. At any time, please send your feedback to info@eowc.org.

What is the Regional Housing Plan?
The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. 

How will the Regional Housing Plan affect me?
A housing construction project of this magnitude will impact many municipalities and municipal staff in eastern Ontario. There will be a spike in land use authority requests, zoning amendments and building code enforcement to name a few. To accomplish the construction of 28,000 units, there will likely be a multitude of building types and innovative ways to deal with servicing lots with water and sewage, and some of these solutions might be new to you. Dealing with this increased activity and innovation will require a comprehensive and combined effort from the municipal sector across eastern Ontario.

When will the first spade be in the ground?
The EOWC is currently in talks with all orders of government, the private sector and Indigenous communities and organizations to further develop the business plan for the project and secure funding. We all understand the need for housing, but advocacy and negotiations of this kind take time. The concept for the Regional Housing Plan was conceived in June of 2022. In comparison, the EOWC gave the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) the mandate to close the gaps in cell service across eastern Ontario in 2015 and it took seven years to put the first newly build cell tower in service. The EOWC is aligning the Regional Housing Plan with the provincial government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes by 2031, and as government partners are saying, it will take a war-time effort to build the housing supply to fit the need.

Resources
· EOWC Affordable and Attainable Housing

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Regional Housing Plan - Communal Services

Hello and welcome to the second in a series of short emails about the EOWC’s proposed Regional Housing Plan and what it could mean for you as a chief building official (CBO), planner or municipal CAO. This edition is dedicated to communal services, which will likely be part of the solution to building 28,000 housing units in eastern Ontario. If you received this email in error or would like to unsubscribe you can easily do so at the bottom of this email. At any time, please send your feedback to info@eowc.org.

What is the Regional Housing Plan?
The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. 

What are communal services?
Communal services, also known as shared drinking water and sewage systems, provide water and wastewater treatment to clusters of residences and businesses. They may also be referred to as decentralized systems or cluster systems. These systems operate on principles similar to conventional municipal services but without the reliance on a single central facility where municipal water and sewer services are either non-existent, or beyond the fiscal capacity of local government.

One company specialized in scalable water and wastewater treatment systems is Newterra out of Brockville. Their solutions are currently deployed across eastern Ontario including at the Whitehouse Terrace Hotel and Condominium Complex in Leeds and Grenville and the Bay Meadows Mobile Home Park in Prince Edward County. The video below is an example of a communal system in the Township of Southwold in southwestern Ontario.

How will communal services affect me as a CBO, planner or municipal CAO?
Implementing communal services requires out of the box thinking. Official Plans might require amending to allow for alternative water and wastewater systems. All new communal service development will need land use planning approvals by the municipality and input from the public, and municipal staff might require training to be able to conduct proper inspections of these systems.

The County of Frontenac is currently undertaking an innovative approach towards implementing communal services. They are creating a municipal services corporation (MSC) for the purpose of overseeing the design, installation and maintenance of the communal services. There is an excellent FAQ section on communal services on the County of Frontenac’s website.

Resources
Communal services in the County of Frontenac
Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association – Decentralized and Communal Wastewater Systems
Newterra Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems

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Regional Housing Plan - Passive House

Hello and welcome to the third in a series of short emails about the EOWC’s proposed Regional Housing Plan and what it could mean for you as a chief building official (CBO), planner or municipal CAO. This edition is dedicated to passive house. If you received this email in error or would like to unsubscribe you can easily do so at the bottom of this email. At any time, please send your feedback to info@eowc.org.

What is the Regional Housing Plan?
The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. 

What is passive house?
Passive house -also known as Passivhaus, because of its German roots- refers to a rigorous standard for energy efficiency in building design and construction. The goal of passive house is to create structures that require minimal energy for heating or cooling, resulting in a significantly reduced environmental impact and lower energy bills for occupants. This standard can be applied to not only houses but also multi unit residential, apartments and commercial buildings. Passive house focusses on five main principles of design and construction being: super insulated building envelopes, extreme air tightness, high-performance windows, thermal bridge free detailing and heat recovery ventilation.

How does a passive house get certified?
The main consultants required for certification are a certified passive house designer (CPHD) and a passive house certifier. The CPHD will prepare an energy model of the building, verifying its performance with the standard. Ultimately there is final certification from the Passive House Institute of Germany. There are currently six levels of certifications that can be achieved starting from the most extreme.

Resources
Passive House Canada
International Passive House Association
Passive House Institute

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Regional Housing Plan - 3D Printed Houses

Hello and welcome to the fourth in a series of short emails about the EOWC’s proposed Regional Housing Plan and what it could mean for you as a chief building official (CBO), planner or municipal CAO. This edition is dedicated to 3D printed houses. If you received this email in error or would like to unsubscribe you can easily do so at the bottom of this email. At any time, please send your feedback to info@eowc.org.

What is the Regional Housing Plan?
The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. 

What are 3D printed houses?
A 3D printed house is a structure that has been constructed using 3D printing technology. 3D printed buildings are put together by a large printer with one or more robotic arms. Attached to the arm is a hose with a nozzle that releases a form of mortar layer by layer. The type of mortar used varies from company to company and from project to project. 3D printing can be done throughout most of the year. In the winter, the printing could be done in a heated structure such as a large tent.

Advantages and challenges with 3D printed houses
While some 3D house printing companies have been around a few years now, it is still an evolving technology and as such continues to adopt new technologies and move towards full inclusion in the Ontario building code. 3D printed homes can be constructed in a highly energy efficient way, for example by printing a wall with a cavity that can then be filled with insulation. 3D printed homes typically generate less waste than traditionally constructed homes. One of the current limitations of 3D printed buildings is height.

3D house printing in eastern Ontario
There are at least two companies in the 3D printing construction businesses in eastern Ontario that the EOWC is aware of. They are Cormor and Nidus3D. Nidus3D constructed North America’s first 3D printed two-story building on Wolfe Island while Cormor is involved with a 3D printing project for Habitat for Humanity near Peterborough.

Resources
Comor
Nidus3D

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Regional Housing Plan - Net Zero Homes

Hello and welcome to the fifth in a series of short emails about the EOWC’s proposed Regional Housing Plan and what it could mean for you as a chief building official (CBO), planner or municipal CAO. This edition is dedicated to net zero homes. If you received this email in error or would like to unsubscribe you can easily do so at the bottom of this email. At any time, please send your feedback to info@eowc.org.

What is the Regional Housing Plan?
The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. 

What are net zero homes?
A net zero home produces as much energy as it consumes. Net zero homes can be either new or renovated. Net zero homes use renewable energy systems such as solar panels to generate electricity. Appliances and mechanical systems in the home are as energy efficient as possible. Net zero homes are not only attractive because they contribute to the reduction of green house gas emissions, they also protect home owners from rising energy costs.

Net zero homes versus net zero ready homes
When reading up on net zero homes you will inevitably hear about net zero ready homes. While both are built in a way that they can produce as much energy as they consume, the net zero home is already doing that production, while the net zero ready home is not. The net zero ready home is constructed in the same way as a net zero home but the renewable energy systems -such as the solar panels- are not hooked up yet.

Pilot funding program for municipalities
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has a funding pilot program that is open to Canadian municipal governments who retro fit or construct new buildings that generate deep energy efficiencies and greenhouse gas reductions. Retrofits must achieve a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption. New construction projects are required to meet net zero energy/net zero energy ready standards.

Resources
Canadian Home Builders’ Association net zero homes
FCM Green Municipal Fund
Efficiency Canada’s net zero building page

Next week
Next week’s edition will be about digital permitting.

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At any time, please send your feedback to info@eowc.org.

Regional Housing Plan - Digital Permitting

Hello and welcome to the fifth in a series of short emails about the EOWC’s proposed Regional Housing Plan and what it could mean for you as a chief building official (CBO), planner or municipal CAO. This edition is dedicated to net zero homes. If you received this email in error or would like to unsubscribe you can easily do so at the bottom of this email. At any time, please send your feedback to info@eowc.org.

What is the Regional Housing Plan?
The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. 

What is digital permitting?
Digital permitting in its basic form refers to the process of obtaining permits through online or digital platforms rather than traditional paper-based methods. Taking advantage of digital permitting to streamline the permit application, review and approval process has the potential to reduce paperwork and increase transparency for both the permitting authorities as well as the applicants, while at the same time reduce the overall length of time to process development applications.

Who would benefit from digitized permitting?
Improving and digitizing the permitting process can save a lot of time for municipalities and applicants. For example, digitizing the building permit process could have applicants submit their documents and pay online, after which municipal staff get notified of a permit application and advance it digitally. Later on in the process, those who conduct inspections can pick up and update the file, and all along other staff that need to be included. Meanwhile, the applicant can follow along, which will reduce the amount of calls and emails staff will have to answer. Even required reports can be generated on the fly.

Resources

The EOWC is aware of a few companies that specialize in digital permitting. Some of these include:

  • Cloudpermit – a cloud-based software platform designed to streamline the building permit process for municipalities, builders, contractors, and other stakeholders involved in construction projects.
  • Permit Central by Transnomis – a digital road permit platform that helps government agencies streamline their permitting processes and significantly reduce the time and administrative costs.
  • Cityworks – a provider of GIS-centric public asset management software offering solutions designed to help municipalities and other organizations efficiently manage and maintain public infrastructure and assets such as roads, bridges, water systems, parks and facilities.

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Regional Housing Plan - Pre-budget Consultation Submission

Hello and welcome to another in a series of short emails about the EOWC’s proposed Regional Housing Plan and what it could mean for you. This edition is to inform you that the EOWC has now provided the federal and provincial governments with a 2024 pre-budget consultation submission.

What is the Regional Housing Plan?
The EOWC’s regional housing plan proposes to build approximately 7,000 community rental units to address the community housing wait lists by 2031. This target aligns with the Ontario Government’s goal of building 1.5 million homes across Ontario. 

Why submit a pre-budget consultation?
Pre-budget consultations are an opportunity for Canadians across the country to share their ideas and priorities for how the government can take action to build an economy that works for everyone. This is why the EOWC has provided the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, with a submission for the 2024 federal pre-budget consultations. The EOWC has also provided Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, Ontario Ministry of Finance with the submission for the 2024 provincial pre-budget consultations.

2024 Budget

What did the EOWC ask for in the federal pre-budget consultation?
In the 2024 federal pre-budget consultation submission the EOWC included several direct asks. These include:

  1. That the federal government commits to working with municipal governments to undertake a new Municipal Growth Framework that would improve affordability and quality of life for Canadians.
  2. That the federal government commits to funding housing across the continuum, including annual direct financial investment in the EOWC 7 in 7+ Regional Housing Plan.
  3. That the federal government provides programs, funding and policies to support rural municipalities with innovative housing and infrastructure development to build more housing more quickly.
  4. That the federal government develops infrastructure programs and funding eligibility from a rural perspective, including last-mile funding where infrastructure exists.
  5. That the federal government works with the province to reach an agreement to reinstate a grant-based, multi-year funding program so municipalities can execute their asset management plans.

Organizations

What did the EOWC ask for in the provincial pre-budget consultation?
In the 2024 provincial pre-budget consultation submission the EOWC included several direct asks. These include:

Economy 

  1. That the province works with municipal governments to undertake a Social and Economic Prosperity Review that would support a review and renewal of the provincial-municipal fiscal partnership to help communities thrive. 

Housing and infrastructure

  1. That the province commits to investing to housing across the continuum, including annual direct financial investment in the EOWC 7 in 7+ Regional Housing Plan.
  2. That the province provides programs, funding and policies that support rural municipalities with housing and infrastructure to build more housing faster. All municipalities, including upper-tiers, need to be eligible to apply for funding to enable projects to move forward.
  3. That the province address the disparity in social assistance rates and rent scales as municipalities and non-profit organizations are filling the widening financial gap.
  4. That the province invests and develops programs that supports building next generation infrastructure in rural communities.
  5. That the province works with the federal government to reach an agreement to reinstate a grant-based, multi-year funding program so municipalities can execute their asset management plans.

Long-Term-Care

  1. That the province provides funding to offset premiums that municipalities have to pay for private staffing-agency workers (due to staffing shortage).
  2. That the province fund temporary foreign workers to fill the human resources gap in rural long-term care homes.
  3. That the province reinstates the Construction Funding Subsidy that ended in August of 2023 to help municipalities build and reinvest in long-term care homes.
  4. That the province implements a low-interest loan program to assist municipalities with the capital redevelopment and expansion of long-term care homes, and that these loans apply to homes that are both under construction and yet to be built.

Resources

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