Belleville Housing Accelerator Fund application denied

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| Published , updated April 11, 2024

As of March 6, 2024, Belleville’s HAF application was denied.

Belleville has applied to the $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) for up to $22.3M. The fund would provide up to 25% of the funds in advance with 25% given in each of the following three years.

To participate, municipalities are required to develop a HAF Action Plan as the basis of their application. The Action Plan must set out a housing supply growth target as well as specific initiatives that the municipality will undertake to meet the growth target. Growth is measured by the number of permits issued for new units. In setting a growth target, municipalities are required to calculate their baseline growth for net-new permits based on historical data and then commit to accelerating this baseline growth by a minimum of 10 per cent over the next
three years.

The HAF Action Plan must identify a minimum of seven initiatives that will be undertaken to meet this growth target. All initiatives selected must be implemented and completed within two years of the commencement of the HAF program.

In June 2023, the City’s Engineering and Development Services Department retained Dillon Consulting to assist in the development of a Housing Action Plan. The Plan indicates the City can anticipate issuing an additional 875 housing unit permits over the next three years with the HAF funding. The initiatives will include:

  1. Create a process for the disposal of city-owned land assets for the development of affordable housing as-of-right (not requiring rezoning).
  2. Promoting various development forms without the need for rezoning (as-of-right zoning).
  3. Update infrastructure planning to align with the newly-approved Official Plan, growth targets, and housing needs assessment.
  4. Encouraging Affordable Units and Accessory Dwelling Units under the Community Improvement Plan’s incentive programs.
  5. Encouraging infill development (adding additional units to existing developments) with increased densities and housing mix.
  6. Promoting development by addressing floodplain risk (i.e., reduce the lands constrained by flooding), and increase the available lands for development.
  7. Encouraging alternative forms of housing construction such as modular housing, manufactured housing, and prefabricated housing.

this does not necessarily need to be affordable housing or social housing, this just needs to accelerate housing in general. So, a lot of these projects are for a lack of a better word, are accelerating opening up lands for development.

Stephen Ashton, Director of Engineering and Development Services

Belleville has not made their Housing Action Plan or HAF application available to the public.

For comparison, the City of Quinte West published a staff report on May 31, 2023, a presentation, a Housing Action Plan and has an information page.

Timeline

March 6, 2024 – PEC Mayor Ferguson says Belleville and Quinte West have had their HAF applications denied

February 27, 2024 – HAF projects outlined in the 2024 Operating Budget, waiting to be funded by application approval

The following projects in the 2024 Operating Budget will be funded by non-tax revenues and will begin once Belleville’s Housing Accelerator Fund application is approved and the funding is received from the Federal government. Project award and completion is contingent on Federal Housing Accelerator Fund grant being received.

HAF Initiative #2: Surplus Land – $275K

Need to create a process for the disposal of city-owned land asset for the development of affordable housing. Includes conducting a
housing needs assessment; an inventory of citywide lands for infill/ intensification potential; a series of development prospectuses for
Belleville’s city-owned lands; streamlining processes to facilitate development; and marketing of city-owned sites to attract
development partners for affordable housing units.

Project award and completion contingent on Federal Housing Accelerator Fund grant being received.

HAF Initiative #3: Updating Zoning for Future Development – $100K

Need to promote more diversity in development forms without the need for rezoning (as-of-right zoning). Includes a survey of missing middle housing forms in the City to identify suitable locations and design parameters; and expediting the new zoning by-law to facilitate faster development of a variety of forms of housing units and reduce barriers to increasing supply of affordable housing and missing middle housing.

Project award and completion contingent on Federal Housing Accelerator Fund grant being received.

HAF Initiative #4: Infrastructure Planning – $100K

Need to update infrastructure planning to align with the newly-approved Official Plan, vision of growth and sustainability, housing needs assessment. Includes conducting a citywide, targeted Infrastructure Phasing Program, prioritizing residential development to strengthen the housing supply.

Project award and completion contingent on Federal Housing Accelerator Fund grant being received

HAF Initiative #5: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – $3.2M

Need to encourage ADUs – smaller accessory units on the same property as a primary unit. Includes developing pre-approved potential designs of ADUs; creating a marketing program to increase awareness of the ADU funding programs and Community Improvement Plan (CIP); increasing the budget for the CIP’s incentives for affordable and accessory dwelling units; increasing staffing support to facilitate expedited CIP incentives and initiatives; and waiving permitting fees associated with the CIP ADU Program.

HAF Initiative #6: Infill Development – $125K

Need to encourage infill development (adding additional units to existing developments) with increased densities and housing mix. Includes emphasizing increased densities and neighbourhood reinvigoration and revitalization. Includes developing a policy to fasttrack Priority #1 and Priority #2 Areas (areas primed for intensification in proximity to the City’s highest volume transit routes); and updating internal business processes with the intention of fast-tracking Priority Areas.

HAF Initiative #7: Housing Constraints and Supply – $800K

Need to implement new/ enhanced processes or systems such as case management, e-permitting and building permitting modelling/monitoring. Includes developing a floodplain management plan in collaboration with Quinte Conservation; implementing an ePermitting system; and implementing the online engagement platform “Bang the Table” into existing digital infrastructure.

Project award and completion contingent on Federal Housing Accelerator Fund grant being received.

August 14, 2023 – Council approves Housing Accelerator Fund application for up to $22.3M

The Housing Action Plan indicates the City can anticipate issuing an additional 875 housing unit permits over the next three years with the HAF funding. The initiatives will include:

  1. Create a process for the disposal of city-owned land assets for the development of affordable housing as-of-right (not requiring rezoning).
  2. Promoting various development forms without the need for rezoning (as-of-right zoning).
  3. Update infrastructure planning to align with the newly-approved Official Plan, growth targets, and housing needs assessment.
  4. Encouraging Affordable Units and Accessory Dwelling Units under the Community Improvement Plan’s incentive programs.
  5. Encouraging infill development (adding additional units to existing developments) with increased densities and housing mix.
  6. Promoting development by addressing floodplain risk (i.e., reduce the lands constrained by flooding), and increase the available lands for development.
  7. Encouraging alternative forms of housing construction such as modular housing, manufactured housing, and prefabricated housing.
Housing Accelerator Fund Application staff report

June 2023 – Belleville Engineering and Development Services Department retains Dillon Consulting to assist in the development of a Housing Action Plan.

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