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Investing in your City: Burlington’s Housing Strategy

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Our weekly “Investing in your City” series continues, highlighting  some of the significant investments being made in Burlington and that our community will benefit from.

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The City is continuing investments to enable more housing, including affordable housing, through the Burlington Housing Strategy, unanimously approved by Council, and the Burlington Lands Partnership. Council also unanimously accepted the Province’s housing pledge to enable 29,000 homes to be built. In addition, Mayor Meed Ward also introduced a first-of-its-kind Pipeline to Permit standing committee, unanimously supported by Council, that includes members of Council and representatives from the community and housing sector to come together at the same table and work to ensure the City can issue permits quicker and we reach our housing targets.

Continuing Investments in Burlington’s Housing Strategy

The 2022 Burlington Housing Strategy identifies short and medium-term actions. Council approved continuing investments in the Housing Strategy through the addition of a Manager of Housing Strategy. This individual is tasked with leading the implementation and administration of the Housing Strategy and its associated actions — it also fulfills of Action No. 3 of the Burlington Housing Strategy: to allocate appropriate staff resources to implement and administer the Housing Strategy and associated actions.

By coordinating relevant stakeholders, including internal departments, external agencies, investors and residents, and seeking and leveraging financial and other opportunities, the Manager of Housing Strategy supports the city in meeting the housing needs of Burlington residents as identified through the Housing Needs and Opportunities Report and through future studies. Action No. 2 of the Housing Strategy also notes this staff will add act as a connector and partner in the housing system by identifying opportunities to connect people and providers to resources and information related to meeting housing objectives.

This position also directly contributes to the City’s Strategic Plan goals of a city that grows that include:

  • Economically and socially active rural areas;
  • More people who live in Burlington also work in Burlington;
  • Our downtown be culturally active, thriving and home to a mix of residents and businesses;
  • Residents close to goods and services;
  • A minimum of 50% of new housing units produced annually be in the form of townhouses or multi-story buildings; and
  • A minimum of 30% of new housing units produced annually be affordable or assisted housing.

Continuing investments in the Housing Strategy moves us closer to the City’s Vision for housing to provide options that meet the needs of residents at all stages of life and income levels by:

  • implementing the actions of the Housing Strategy;
  • making connections among stakeholders and upper levels of government;
  • leveraging funding opportunities to support housing objectives;
  • supporting achievement of the City’s housing pledge; and
  • coordinating the implementation of the Housing Strategy across multiple departments.

Burlington Lands Partnership

The Burlington Lands Partnership proactively explores and advances partnership opportunities related to securing and identifying strategic land parcels, while working with City staff and reporting to Council to achieve the following:

  • maximizing business development and future economic growth;
  • facilitating major city building projects to provide the necessary community amenities to support growth and enhance the quality of all residents; and
  • delivering an increased supply of affordable/attainable housing.

With respect to housing, the Burlington Lands Partnership is an important tool to help implement the City’s Housing Strategy and to help the City to achieve Burlington’s Housing Pledge. Burlington Lands Partnership projects generally have two phases:

  • Phase 1 – Early-stage land evaluation/potential initiation (confidential); and
  • Phase 2 – Project development and implementation (public).

During these phases the BLP might need to secure advice and support of external legal services and professional consulting services in areas such as planning, transportation, urban design, and economic viability and financial feasibility. This is to ensure the BLP can make comprehensive recommendations to Council related to strategic land acquisitions and/or partnerships.

Strategic land opportunities most often include complex long-term capital investments by the City/partners and internal dedicated staff resources are essential for due diligence purposes and to fulfill the objectives of the BLP.

Pipeline to Permit Standing Committee

In October 2023, Mayor Meed Ward introduced the concept of creating a new standing committee called the Pipeline to Permit (P2P) standing committee related to the development process, and doing our part to see Burlington’s housing supply increased. It received unanimous support by Council. The committee met for the first time on Feb. 8, 2024.

The new committee will be a game-changer. It has not been done before by a municipality — to have a committee with all stakeholders together at the same table to help us meet our housing targets.

The P2P committee will focus on tracking growth, addressing issues, and pursuing continuous improvement opportunities for the development approval process within the City of Burlington, recognizing overarching legislative planning requirements and any other relevant regulations. It will also take an informed and analytical approach to the current procedures and development approval processes that affect the way businesses, residents and developers move through the development processing system. In addition, the committee will make recommendations to Council to ensure the timely and efficient issuance of development approvals and building permits for residential and commercial customers to enable the development of complete communities.

Learn more about the current committee members here and more about the P2P Committee at burlington.ca/pipelinetopermit. Learn more about Burlington’s path from Pipeline to Permit to see 29,000 housing units built via the link.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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