Let's Talk Affordable Housing, Niagara Falls!

Provincial Response to Housing Affordability

On February 8, 2022, the Housing Affordability Task Force submitted its report on the state of Ontario’s housing market to the provincial government. The Report and its Appendices make 55 recommendations designed to facilitate the construction of 1.5 million new homes in Ontario over the next decade. Among its proposals are measures to remove existing impediments to development, rethink the province’s existing inclusionary zoning framework, and reduce the costs to buy, build, and rent property.

The task force breaks up the fifty-five recommendations into five main categories:

  1. Focus on getting more homes built
  • construction of 1.5 million new homes in 10 years to assist the housing affordability problem.
  1. Making land available to build
  • To permit a variety of housing in existing neighbourhoods
  • Intensification on transit corridors and on any transit roadways
  • to monopolize on underutilized commercial properties
  1. Cut the red tape so we can build faster and reduce costs
  • Strict timelines to approve planning applications
  • allow 12 storey wood frame construction
  • Standardization of draft plan conditions and legal agreements
  • the removal of the right to appeal affordable housing projects
  • a $10,000 filing fee for third party appeals
  • costs awarded in any appeal brought by a third party or municipality
  1. Reduce the costs to build, buy and rent
  • Development charges and parkland fees waived for all infill projects up to 10 units or where no new infrastructure is required
  • Waive Development Charges on affordable housing guaranteed for 40 years
  • prohibit interest rates on development charges higher than the municipalities borrowing rate
  • Funding for pilot projects for pathways to homeownership for those in need and loan guarantees for purpose-built rentals
  • eliminate or reduce tax disincentives to housing growth.
  1. Support and incentivize scaling up housing supply
  • Change to growth pays for growth model by implementing a municipal service corporation utility to share costs among customers.
  • Improving education and funding programs for skilled trades and fund on the job training
  • reducing funding to municipalities that fail to meet provincial housing growth and timeline targets
  • Funding e-permitting systems and common data architecture standards and set a goal of 2025
  • establishing an "Ontario Housing Delivery Fund" to reward annual growth that meets provincial targets

View the full recommendations detailed in the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force report.

On March 22, 2022 Planning staff submitted to Council "Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force Proposal Review" which outlined the comments of Planning staff and Council forwarded a copy to Minister Steve Clark. The Council has reserved the right to further comment when the report is brought back for discussion.

Have your say. On May 10, 2022 Council will consider the Task Force recommendations further. Consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback. It will be be provided to Council for consideration.

Municipal Response to Housing Affordability

On March 22, 2022, City staff presented Council a with the second phase of the City of Niagara Falls Housing Directions Study - the City's Housing Strategy. The Housing Strategy builds upon findings of the Housing Needs and Supply Report and recommends 21 actions that can be grouped under the following 6 themes:

  • Establish affordable housing targets.
  • Promote a greater diversity of housing types.
  • Ensure a healthy supply of rental units.
  • Increase public education and provide advocacy for partnerships.
  • Provide a variety of financial incentives to promote and facilitate the development of affordable and rental housing.
  • Monitor and report.

The 21 actions set out in the City’s Housing Strategy are a collection of policy directions, programs and tools that will work together in the short, medium and long term to help achieve the 40% affordability target recommended by Housing Needs and Supply Report and endorsed by Council in June 2021. Further, the Strategy will encourage, support and permit the development of a more diverse mix and range of housing options to meet the City’s current and future demand.

View the City of Niagara Falls Housing Directions Study Phase 2 Report to Council and Strategy.
View the City of Niagara Falls Housing Strategy for Niagara Falls presentation.

The City is also undertaking the following:

Park Street Market Housing Project
4500 Park Street

This project is a partnership project with the Region of Niagara to provide a variety of affordable, attainable, and rent geared to income housing units on the former Park Street Market site. The location will provide a at least 200 units, of which a percentage/minimum number of units must be affordable, attainable, or rent geared for a period of 20 years. The land is being provided by the City, and the Region will be offering grants to achieve affordability.

Victoria Street the Old Carnegie Library Transitional Housing
5017 Victoria Avenue

The City sold the building to the Region for a $1 to create 21 bachelor transitional housing suites for those needing care to provide them assistance to live, get a job and to graduate to living on their own.


The Affordable Housing survey has now concluded