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Committee Moves to Lower Child Care Fees for Families

The Community and Protective Services Committee today approved allocating $60 million in provincial and federal funds to implement phase one of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System. The new system would reduce child care fees for eligible families and increase compensation for child care workers.

The City would spend $57 million this year to reduce child care fees by up to 25 per cent, $1.8 million to increase hourly wages for child-care workers and $1.2 million to hire up to 15 additional full-time staff to deliver the program. Starting in September and running through December, families with eligible children enrolled in a participating child care centre could start getting fee rebates retroactive to April 1, 2022.

The City is committed to supporting the child care sector and families through the transition to the new Canada-wide system, and building towards, on average, $10-a-day child care by 2025.

At a joint meeting of the Planning and Community and Protective Services committees earlier in the day, the committees endorsed an approach to implement inclusionary zoning in Ottawa, to help increase the supply of affordable housing for moderate income households.

Inclusionary zoning is a land-use planning tool that, in areas of the city near transit, would allow the City to require that new developments include affordable units. The proposed framework seeks to strike a balance between keeping development feasible and creating a meaningful number of affordable units. If developers were to set aside affordable units at the rate proposed, staff estimate there would be 60 to 90 affordable units created each year for rent or sale to moderate income households. Using the outlined rates, staff would bring back a report to Council to introduce inclusionary zoning in 2023.

The committees also endorsed staff recommendations to protect existing tenants of affordable rental housing by addressing renovictions. The City would request that the Province review and update the Residential Tenancies Act and other relevant legislation to further prevent and prohibit renovictions: instances when a landlord evicts tenants to renovate a rental property and then replaces them with tenants who would pay higher rents after the renovations are completed.

At the municipal level, staff would assess the feasibility of establishing a by-law prohibiting demolition or conversion of residential rental housing of six or more units. This would prevent a residential rental unit or building from being turned into a business or a parking lot unless the City issued a permit. Staff would report back with recommendations by Q2 2023.

Recommendations from today’s meetings will rise to Council on Wednesday, June 22.

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