Affordable Housing Master Plan

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Consultation has concluded

Town-Owned Properties for Affordable Housing 

Enabling the construction of affordable housing projects is an important investment in the Town of Collingwood’s sustainability and contributes to creating a complete community. Making surplus public land available at no- or low cost is an effective tool as part of a financial strategy that the Town can use to help subsidize the development of new affordable housing. Council, staff, the Affordable Housing Task Force, and the community at large are eager to see additional action. 

At the November 6, 2024 Council meeting, Council requested additional clarity around the options for the Town-owned lands. Staff provided several options towards shovels in the ground to help Council make an informed decision. Staff are eager to help facilitate an affordable housing build on Town-owned lands but are mindful of budgetary and resource limits. As such Staff recommended a partnership with the County of Simcoe as the quickest and most financially feasible path to the development of affordable housing on the two identified Town-owned land parcels, with a caveat that if an expeditious County construction project is not available, Council revisit the future of the lands as potential donation to a not-for-profit entity. As an additional option, staff also proposed a way that the Town can demonstrate leadership in facilitating pilot or demonstration projects for innovative housing types on smaller parcels of land, positioning Collingwood again as a provincial leader in affordable housing. Staff Report CAO2024-01 includes the analysis and recommendations for the two Town-owned properties.

On January 22nd, Council instructed Staff to submit two Town-owned properties to the County of Simcoe for consideration in their Call for Proposals for Municipal Partnerships in Affordable Housing Developments (RES-055-2024).  Staff have since formally submitted the two Town-owned properties to the County for consideration. 

Affordable Housing Master Plan Project Concluded

The Town of Collingwood’s Affordable Housing Master Plan was accepted by Council on November 6, 2023. With this political support we will shift from planning to implementation, with the AHMP guiding our work in affordable housing over the next several years. 

We would like to acknowledge everyone who contributed to this milestone, including the expert consulting team at N. Barry Lyon Consultants, the dedicated Affordable Housing Task Force, and the many stakeholders and community members who gave generously of their time and energy to discuss this important issue 

Affordable housing is a complex problem where a multitude of actions are possible. Having a balanced, clear, prioritized and costed strategy ensures that resources can be used effectively on key outcomes rather than spreading efforts across many initiatives, making limited gains in any one area. The AHMP will be our guiding light, encompassing policy, process, regulatory changes, financial approaches, and advocacy initiatives crucial for realizing impactful affordable housing solutions within our community. The cumulation of these efforts will result in what we are all looking for – shovels in the ground and more affordable housing options that are critical to sustaining and supporting our community. 

Staff are currently taking action on time-sensitive recommendations and will return to Council early in the new year with a detailed and prioritized work plan for 2024 and beyond.  

Complex problems are inherently messy and affordable housing is anything but simple. The housing crisis involves financial, economic, social, and cultural systems that interplay and connect in ways that are challenging to understand and at play out at a variety of scales, locally and globally. The AHMP gives us our best path forward through the noise and chaos, giving us balanced, clear, prioritized actions to take as a municipality, as well as a call to action for other stakeholders in our community. 

With an issue this complicated, we know that the road to solutions will not always be smooth, but the AHMP is set up to help us evaluate our efforts over time by measuring results and feeding them back into this evolving document. We will start, course correct where needed, and work our way toward the end goal. We hope you stay engaged and continue to collaborate with us throughout this journey.  

As staff develop the workplan to implement the AHMP, there will be future opportunities for stakeholder and community engagement. This webpage will be archived in the coming weeks so please subscribe to our development community newsletter to make sure you don’t miss future updates. 


Final Affordable Housing Master Plan - October 2023

On October 30, 2023 the Affordable Housing Master Plan was presented to the Town of Collingwood's Committee of the Whole. Watch the meeting here:

The Committee voted on items that impact the 2024 Budget and staff will come back to Council with a workplan for 2024 and a vision for 2025 and beyond, in the new year. 

The Town of Collingwood is grateful to all stakeholders and community members who have contributed to the project. Your input was valuable and impacted the content of the Plan that will ensure we have a vibrant, thriving and sustainable community – today and well into the future. 

Read the final Affordable Housing Master Plan Report:

The Town of Collingwood, like many municipalities across Canada, is grappling with the challenge of affordable housing. To address this pressing issue, the Town initiated an Affordable Housing Master Plan (AHMP) project. This plan, prepared by N. Barry Lyon Consultants (NBLC), is based on NBLC’s expertise in housing, development and economics, coupled with extensive community and stakeholder consultation. The result is a comprehensivecosted and prioritized strategy for the Town of Collingwood to support increased affordable housing opportunities in the community, with a Council-approved focus on moderate income households.


Helping our community thrive

Collingwood has so much to offer - a beautiful setting that inspires a healthy lifestyle with an active trail system, a lively waterfront, an inclusive arts community and more.

But the very things that makes Collingwood such a wonderful place to live, along with other Provincial and National trends, are also driving up housing prices - especially as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated housing struggles with an influx of people relocating here. The lack of affordable housing has social and equity impacts and is a significant factor that makes it difficult for local employers to attract and retain workers. You'll see this today in the help wanted signs or reduced hours of operation, but what does our community look like in the future if we don't do something now?

The Affordable Housing Master Plan will give the Town of Collingwood prioritized, costed and actionable direction to play its role in addressing the affordable housing crisis. Together, we will roll up our sleeves to help our neighbours and ensure that we have a vibrant, thriving and sustainable community - today and well into the future.


Draft Strategic Options Report - August 2023

We are pleased to share the next stage of work in the Town of Collingwood’s Affordable Housing Master Plan process. N. Barry Lyon Consultants (NBLC) has released their Draft Strategic Options Report for public comment.

This report follows several months of considerable effort, building from the Affordable Housing Task Force’s 2021 recommendations, developing a comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment, conducting community and stakeholder engagement, and accessing research, expertise and best practices in housing. The result is an extensive list of supportable high-level strategic options and draft recommendations which will be further refined through continued consultation.

The final report coming this fall will drill down on the recommendations with a greater level of detail around costs and prioritization. We expect that some recommendations will be considered for inclusion in the 2024 budget cycle for immediate action and staff will bring a multi-year action plan to Council for review in early 2024.

Despite there being many ideas on how to approach the affordable housing crisis, there is no one magic bullet to solve it and no one entity or government can do it alone. The final Affordable Housing Master Plan will provide the Town of Collingwood with a focused, costed and prioritized list of actions that are within the municipality’s scope and expertise, for the most gains on the ground.

Check out the report below or watch the video of our recent public consultation. Thank you to everyone who participated in the session and/or provided written comments on the draft strategic actions. Commenting is now closed and NBLC will evaluate all comments during their next phase of work and the preparation of the final Affordable Housing Master Plan.

Read the Draft Strategic Direction Options Report:


Watch our Public Consultation Recording from August 15, 2023:
(Please note that the video starts just after the 5 minute mark.)




Latest Project Updates - June 2023

Housing Needs Assessment Released

N. Barry Lyon Consultants (NBLC) have finalized an updated Housing Needs Assessment for the Town. The assessment is a technical and data driven document that has incorporated revised census and market data, offering an overview of sales and rents across the Town as of 2022/23. It highlights the impact of rising interest rates, construction costs, and market fluctuations. Additionally, it reflects the current state of affordable housing, considering recent Provincial changes, particularly those related to definitions.

Affordable Housing Master Plan - Virtual Session Recording from June 6, 2023

On June 6, 2023, we were joined by over 75 community members for a virtual information session. NBLC shared the insights from their Housing Needs Assessment and citizens asked questions and shared their thoughts in this first engagement opportunity. The session was recorded and a copy is now online for viewing. Although we tried to get to everyone's questions during the session, there were several that we were not able to address. Those questions and answers can be found here.




What does the Town of Collingwood consider "affordable housing"?
The term "affordable housing" is often used interchangeably with "social housing", but they are two different things. Social housing is coordinated by the County of Simcoe and it is a category that includes public housing, cooperatives, and non-profit providers that receive government funding to assist with rent subsidies and operating and capital costs. The County is generally responsible for planning, funding and managing social housing programs where rents charged are based on income, and provides services for people experiencing homelessness.

Affordable housing is not typically seen as a local municipal issue, however Council and staff believe that action can and should occur at all levels of government, in collaboration with employers, local community groups and the general public.

The Town of Collingwood's affordable housing efforts focuses on households that earn moderate levels of income. (Moderate income refers to households between the 4th and 6th income deciles. The income deciles are specific to household incomes of Collingwood residents.)

  • For moderate income homeowners, that annual household income range is approximately $74,000 – $109,000, which translates into an affordable purchase price of $248,000 - $366,000 based on a maximum of 30% gross income being directed to housing costs.
  • For moderate income renters, that range is cut nearly in half, with household incomes at approximately $47,000 – $68,000, for which an affordable monthly rent is $1,200 – $1,700 based on a maximum of 30% gross income being directed to housing costs.


Why do we need an Affordable Housing Master Plan?
The Affordable Housing Master Plan (AHMP) will be a key pillar to a strong and sustainable Collingwood. The plan builds on the Affordable Housing Task Force's 2021 Housing Needs Assessment which addressed the seriousness of the housing crisis in Collingwood. The AHMP will help us drill down what the Town's role is in providing or facilitating affordable housing. The plan will provide Council with recommendations for a focused path forward and the tools required to implement those recommendations.


How can I get involved?
There will be many chances for public and stakeholder input during the Master Plan process and we want to hear your ideas! Please watch this page and Town social media for updates on how you can be involved.


Town-Owned Properties for Affordable Housing 

Enabling the construction of affordable housing projects is an important investment in the Town of Collingwood’s sustainability and contributes to creating a complete community. Making surplus public land available at no- or low cost is an effective tool as part of a financial strategy that the Town can use to help subsidize the development of new affordable housing. Council, staff, the Affordable Housing Task Force, and the community at large are eager to see additional action. 

At the November 6, 2024 Council meeting, Council requested additional clarity around the options for the Town-owned lands. Staff provided several options towards shovels in the ground to help Council make an informed decision. Staff are eager to help facilitate an affordable housing build on Town-owned lands but are mindful of budgetary and resource limits. As such Staff recommended a partnership with the County of Simcoe as the quickest and most financially feasible path to the development of affordable housing on the two identified Town-owned land parcels, with a caveat that if an expeditious County construction project is not available, Council revisit the future of the lands as potential donation to a not-for-profit entity. As an additional option, staff also proposed a way that the Town can demonstrate leadership in facilitating pilot or demonstration projects for innovative housing types on smaller parcels of land, positioning Collingwood again as a provincial leader in affordable housing. Staff Report CAO2024-01 includes the analysis and recommendations for the two Town-owned properties.

On January 22nd, Council instructed Staff to submit two Town-owned properties to the County of Simcoe for consideration in their Call for Proposals for Municipal Partnerships in Affordable Housing Developments (RES-055-2024).  Staff have since formally submitted the two Town-owned properties to the County for consideration. 

Affordable Housing Master Plan Project Concluded

The Town of Collingwood’s Affordable Housing Master Plan was accepted by Council on November 6, 2023. With this political support we will shift from planning to implementation, with the AHMP guiding our work in affordable housing over the next several years. 

We would like to acknowledge everyone who contributed to this milestone, including the expert consulting team at N. Barry Lyon Consultants, the dedicated Affordable Housing Task Force, and the many stakeholders and community members who gave generously of their time and energy to discuss this important issue 

Affordable housing is a complex problem where a multitude of actions are possible. Having a balanced, clear, prioritized and costed strategy ensures that resources can be used effectively on key outcomes rather than spreading efforts across many initiatives, making limited gains in any one area. The AHMP will be our guiding light, encompassing policy, process, regulatory changes, financial approaches, and advocacy initiatives crucial for realizing impactful affordable housing solutions within our community. The cumulation of these efforts will result in what we are all looking for – shovels in the ground and more affordable housing options that are critical to sustaining and supporting our community. 

Staff are currently taking action on time-sensitive recommendations and will return to Council early in the new year with a detailed and prioritized work plan for 2024 and beyond.  

Complex problems are inherently messy and affordable housing is anything but simple. The housing crisis involves financial, economic, social, and cultural systems that interplay and connect in ways that are challenging to understand and at play out at a variety of scales, locally and globally. The AHMP gives us our best path forward through the noise and chaos, giving us balanced, clear, prioritized actions to take as a municipality, as well as a call to action for other stakeholders in our community. 

With an issue this complicated, we know that the road to solutions will not always be smooth, but the AHMP is set up to help us evaluate our efforts over time by measuring results and feeding them back into this evolving document. We will start, course correct where needed, and work our way toward the end goal. We hope you stay engaged and continue to collaborate with us throughout this journey.  

As staff develop the workplan to implement the AHMP, there will be future opportunities for stakeholder and community engagement. This webpage will be archived in the coming weeks so please subscribe to our development community newsletter to make sure you don’t miss future updates. 


Final Affordable Housing Master Plan - October 2023

On October 30, 2023 the Affordable Housing Master Plan was presented to the Town of Collingwood's Committee of the Whole. Watch the meeting here:

The Committee voted on items that impact the 2024 Budget and staff will come back to Council with a workplan for 2024 and a vision for 2025 and beyond, in the new year. 

The Town of Collingwood is grateful to all stakeholders and community members who have contributed to the project. Your input was valuable and impacted the content of the Plan that will ensure we have a vibrant, thriving and sustainable community – today and well into the future. 

Read the final Affordable Housing Master Plan Report:

The Town of Collingwood, like many municipalities across Canada, is grappling with the challenge of affordable housing. To address this pressing issue, the Town initiated an Affordable Housing Master Plan (AHMP) project. This plan, prepared by N. Barry Lyon Consultants (NBLC), is based on NBLC’s expertise in housing, development and economics, coupled with extensive community and stakeholder consultation. The result is a comprehensivecosted and prioritized strategy for the Town of Collingwood to support increased affordable housing opportunities in the community, with a Council-approved focus on moderate income households.


Helping our community thrive

Collingwood has so much to offer - a beautiful setting that inspires a healthy lifestyle with an active trail system, a lively waterfront, an inclusive arts community and more.

But the very things that makes Collingwood such a wonderful place to live, along with other Provincial and National trends, are also driving up housing prices - especially as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated housing struggles with an influx of people relocating here. The lack of affordable housing has social and equity impacts and is a significant factor that makes it difficult for local employers to attract and retain workers. You'll see this today in the help wanted signs or reduced hours of operation, but what does our community look like in the future if we don't do something now?

The Affordable Housing Master Plan will give the Town of Collingwood prioritized, costed and actionable direction to play its role in addressing the affordable housing crisis. Together, we will roll up our sleeves to help our neighbours and ensure that we have a vibrant, thriving and sustainable community - today and well into the future.


Draft Strategic Options Report - August 2023

We are pleased to share the next stage of work in the Town of Collingwood’s Affordable Housing Master Plan process. N. Barry Lyon Consultants (NBLC) has released their Draft Strategic Options Report for public comment.

This report follows several months of considerable effort, building from the Affordable Housing Task Force’s 2021 recommendations, developing a comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment, conducting community and stakeholder engagement, and accessing research, expertise and best practices in housing. The result is an extensive list of supportable high-level strategic options and draft recommendations which will be further refined through continued consultation.

The final report coming this fall will drill down on the recommendations with a greater level of detail around costs and prioritization. We expect that some recommendations will be considered for inclusion in the 2024 budget cycle for immediate action and staff will bring a multi-year action plan to Council for review in early 2024.

Despite there being many ideas on how to approach the affordable housing crisis, there is no one magic bullet to solve it and no one entity or government can do it alone. The final Affordable Housing Master Plan will provide the Town of Collingwood with a focused, costed and prioritized list of actions that are within the municipality’s scope and expertise, for the most gains on the ground.

Check out the report below or watch the video of our recent public consultation. Thank you to everyone who participated in the session and/or provided written comments on the draft strategic actions. Commenting is now closed and NBLC will evaluate all comments during their next phase of work and the preparation of the final Affordable Housing Master Plan.

Read the Draft Strategic Direction Options Report:


Watch our Public Consultation Recording from August 15, 2023:
(Please note that the video starts just after the 5 minute mark.)




Latest Project Updates - June 2023

Housing Needs Assessment Released

N. Barry Lyon Consultants (NBLC) have finalized an updated Housing Needs Assessment for the Town. The assessment is a technical and data driven document that has incorporated revised census and market data, offering an overview of sales and rents across the Town as of 2022/23. It highlights the impact of rising interest rates, construction costs, and market fluctuations. Additionally, it reflects the current state of affordable housing, considering recent Provincial changes, particularly those related to definitions.

Affordable Housing Master Plan - Virtual Session Recording from June 6, 2023

On June 6, 2023, we were joined by over 75 community members for a virtual information session. NBLC shared the insights from their Housing Needs Assessment and citizens asked questions and shared their thoughts in this first engagement opportunity. The session was recorded and a copy is now online for viewing. Although we tried to get to everyone's questions during the session, there were several that we were not able to address. Those questions and answers can be found here.




What does the Town of Collingwood consider "affordable housing"?
The term "affordable housing" is often used interchangeably with "social housing", but they are two different things. Social housing is coordinated by the County of Simcoe and it is a category that includes public housing, cooperatives, and non-profit providers that receive government funding to assist with rent subsidies and operating and capital costs. The County is generally responsible for planning, funding and managing social housing programs where rents charged are based on income, and provides services for people experiencing homelessness.

Affordable housing is not typically seen as a local municipal issue, however Council and staff believe that action can and should occur at all levels of government, in collaboration with employers, local community groups and the general public.

The Town of Collingwood's affordable housing efforts focuses on households that earn moderate levels of income. (Moderate income refers to households between the 4th and 6th income deciles. The income deciles are specific to household incomes of Collingwood residents.)

  • For moderate income homeowners, that annual household income range is approximately $74,000 – $109,000, which translates into an affordable purchase price of $248,000 - $366,000 based on a maximum of 30% gross income being directed to housing costs.
  • For moderate income renters, that range is cut nearly in half, with household incomes at approximately $47,000 – $68,000, for which an affordable monthly rent is $1,200 – $1,700 based on a maximum of 30% gross income being directed to housing costs.


Why do we need an Affordable Housing Master Plan?
The Affordable Housing Master Plan (AHMP) will be a key pillar to a strong and sustainable Collingwood. The plan builds on the Affordable Housing Task Force's 2021 Housing Needs Assessment which addressed the seriousness of the housing crisis in Collingwood. The AHMP will help us drill down what the Town's role is in providing or facilitating affordable housing. The plan will provide Council with recommendations for a focused path forward and the tools required to implement those recommendations.


How can I get involved?
There will be many chances for public and stakeholder input during the Master Plan process and we want to hear your ideas! Please watch this page and Town social media for updates on how you can be involved.


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Welcome to the Town of Collingwood’s Affordable Housing Master Plan Survey! This survey is part of our public engagement to develop Collingwood’s Affordable Housing Master Plan. The Master Plan will outline the priorities, direction, and actions necessary to combat the housing crisis.

    The purpose of this survey is to help us learn about specific community needs around housing. Your responses will help to describe current housing supply, demand, and affordability within Collingwood, allow us to understand what types of housing may be needed in the future, and collect your ideas on how to tackle housing affordability locally. The Affordable Housing Master Plan will identify potential targeted improvement strategies or actions. Your responses will remain anonymous. 

    Together, we will roll up our sleeves to help our neighbours and ensure that we have a vibrant, thriving and sustainable community - today and well into the future.  

    This survey should take less than 15-20 minutes to respond. Your input is greatly appreciated.

    Please complete this survey based on your personal experience. For questions that reference “your household”, a household is considered as being a set of (related or unrelated) people sharing the same dwelling and who have a joint budget.

    When you are finished, we encourage you to share the survey link with others – including others living in your home who may have different perspectives. (For example, if you have owned your home for 20 years you will have a different experience than adult children who are living with you because they can’t afford housing.)


    Consultation has concluded
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