Councillor’s Corner: Review aims at improving housing affordability

Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi ward councillor

Happy New Year Kitchissippi! We’re back in full swing at City Hall, with lots of exciting updates to report. Read on to find out what’s happening in your city. 

The City is currently undertaking a Residential Fourth Density (R4) Zoning Review. For almost a decade, Ottawa’s inner-urban neighbourhoods have faced persistently low rental vacancy rates, with census data suggesting that rent prices on newly vacant units are rising by 12 to 17 per cent per year. The review aims to help improve housing affordability by exploring possible zoning changes that will enable a wider range of low-rise, multi-unit housing in R4 neighbourhoods, seeking to fill a “missing middle” range of affordable mid-density housing suitable for a wide range of households. If you’re interested in learning more about this process or participating in the review, email or visit to read the current discussion paper.

Also underway is the Transportation Master Plan Update. As Ottawa continues to grow beyond one million residents, we need to rethink how people, vehicles and goods move through the city. In order to ensure Ottawa stays a livable mid-sized city, we have to have thoughtful and meaningful discussions about all forms of transportation and rethink how we travel. Whether you walk, ride, drive or take public transit, this review will affect how you navigate Ottawa. To stay up to date on this process and make your perspective heard, visit

We know that a lot of you are probably already looking forward to warmer weather and all the joys that come with it. One of those joys is street parties! The City makes it very easy for residents to apply to close their street for a block party – all you have to do is visit and type “residential block party” into the search bar, and fill out the application, or call 311 to get started. Then all you have to do is plan for the weather and decide what kinds of snacks you want to serve.

We have some pop-ups coming up in February: you can meet me at the Ministry of Coffee (1013 Wellington) on February 3 between 4 and 7 p.m., at Equator Coffee (412 Churchill) on February 14 between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and at Stella Luna Gelato (1130 Wellington) on February 25 between 12 and 3 p.m. Come see me – no appointment necessary – to chat all things Kitchissippi.

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