The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued a Minister’s Zoning Order, at the request of the City of Hamilton, to speed up the approvals process for 15 units at 350 King St. East, allowing the city to meet the timelines for federal government funding. The plan is to create 15 affordable living spaces on the ground floor of First Place at King Street East and Wellington from unused space that was previously zoned commercial. The property has been unable to attract commercial tenants for years and has sat empty. It was not expected there would be any great public opposition to the conversion but under existing planning regulations opposition is always a possibility. Any reference to LPAT would have taken the project beyond the time limit for the public funding that the project qualifies for. So the city requested the MZO to ensure the project would be a go.
“Like many communities across the province, Hamilton is in need of more affordable housing, especially during COVID-19 when we are asking people to stay home and stay safe,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. “I was pleased to advocate on behalf of the City of Hamilton so some of our most vulnerable residents can get a roof over their head as quickly as possible.”
“Our government has been clear that we are going to use Minister’s Zoning Orders to help communities get critical local projects, like affordable housing, moving faster,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “I am proud to respond to the requests made by the City of Hamilton and MPP Donna Skelly to help speed up the approvals required to create this much-needed affordable housing.”
Minister’s Zoning Orders have been used to help accelerate the development of several critical projects located outside of the Greenbelt. This includes thousands of new long-term care beds, hundreds of supportive and affordable housing units, a Made-in-Ontario personal protective equipment facility, and 100 modular supportive housing units in Toronto to house homeless people in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.