Suite Talk: The Barriers and Opportunities of Providing Secondary Suites in Rural Metro-Adjacent Regions of Eastern Ontario
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Providing an adequate supply of affordable housing has become an increasing challenge for Ontario municipalities. As a result, changes were made to the Planning Act requiring all Ontario municipalities to implement provisions to permit secondary suites within their zoning bylaws, and official plans. While the implementation of these changes expanded the opportunities for municipalities to increase the supply of affordable housing, several barriers were also encountered. The topic of secondary suites is most frequently studied from an urban perspective. However, given the unique characteristics, and prevailing conditions commonly found in rural communities, these areas impose distinct planning considerations that must be approached differently than urban areas. Therefore, this study examined the opportunities and constraints experienced throughout the implementation of secondary suites by rural metro-adjacent municipalities in Eastern Ontario. The opportunities revealed through the study included: diversifying the existing housing stock, providing supplementary income to homeowners, making better use of existing infrastructure, providing a means for homeowners to aide family members, and increasing municipal control over secondary suite rental housing. Barriers were identified as: servicing issues, the older age and existing condition of homes, a lack of education among the community, limited planning resources, community resistance to change, personnel changes, difficulties adhering to building codes, and a lack of demand for rental purposes. Additionally, the research uncovered several measures that rural communities can use to increase the presence of secondary suites moving forward. These include: the creation of educational materials, continuing to explore funding opportunities, maintaining positive community relationships, increasing communication between departments, sharing best practices, and the continued promotion of secondary suites throughout communities.
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Montana Caletti (2018). Suite Talk: The Barriers and Opportunities of Providing Secondary Suites in Rural Metro-Adjacent Regions of Eastern Ontario. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13997