Ottawa considering new strategies to build 151,000 new homes 


Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The City of Ottawa’s planning and housing committee is recommending council approve a municipal housing pledge with strategies to encourage construction of 151,000 new homes across Ottawa by 2031.

The committee also approved a zoning amendment to facilitate a development of stacked dwellings and townhouses on Kennedy Lane East in Orléans. The applicant plans eight buildings with 81 rental units, 26 of which would be considered affordable units. The amendment would change the site’s zoning from Institutional to Residential Fourth Density, allowing for low-rise, multi-unit residential infill often referred to as missing middle housing.

Provincial legislation has set Ottawa’s target as part of a larger plan to support construction of 1.5 million new homes across Ontario in the next nine years.

The housing pledge commits the city to:

  • working with industry partners to ensure approvals for 151,000 shovel-ready homes by 2031
  • permitting a wider diversity of housing types, densities and occupancy arrangements
  • delivering the infrastructure and services needed to support growth
  • partnering with senior levels of government as well as with housing providers and agencies to build more affordable housing
  • streamlining approvals to move from concept to construction faster, including through development of a new Zoning By-law
  • monitoring and reporting on the status of these actions and number of new homes built

The city can facilitate the housing market through these actions, but additional factors beyond the city’s control will impact whether Ottawa achieves the 2031 target of 151,000 new homes.

Since amalgamation, the city has doubled the number of residential building permits it has issued annually. The city issued more than 12,600 permits in 2022, the highest number on record, but would need to issue more than 15,000 permits per year to achieve the Province’s target. That is 20 per cent more than was issued in 2022.


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