Ontario’s housing action plan welcomed by industry

by Steve Randall29 Nov 2018

Proposals to increase choice and make housing more affordable in Ontario have been welcomed by two housing industry organizations.

The province announced an action plan Wednesday which aims to make more homes available by “knocking down barriers” to help people get homes that meet their needs.

The plan includes:

  • Legislation that would make new rental units exempt from rent control, effective November 15, 2018, while preserving rent increase limits for existing tenants;
  • Ending the previous government's expensive and ineffective Development Charges Rebate Program;
  • Seeking public input on ways the government can remove barriers to building the right kind of housing in the right places. This input will inform a broader housing supply action plan. The consultation includes a downloadable toolkit so community groups can host local roundtables and share their thoughts with the province.

"In communities all across Ontario, people are struggling to find housing they can afford," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We're taking action to help create more housing faster, give people more choice and bring down housing costs."

The government says that home supply has not kept pace with population growth in Ontario in recent years so action is needed to provide homes and make the province more attractive to businesses and investors.

"High housing costs are a barrier to job creators, large and small, because employees need affordable places to live," said Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "Making housing more affordable will encourage people to start and grow businesses, right here at home."

TREB response
Toronto Real Estate Board says it welcomes the government’s measures to boost housing supply.

“Nowhere are housing supply and mix issues more of a priority than in the Greater Toronto Area, where TREB's 53,000 Members operate. TREB Realtors work with home buyers and sellers every day and they see the challenges caused by inadequate supply and mix of housing,” its statement reads.

TREB says it looks forward to participating in the provincial government's consultation process on this issue.

FRPO confident of positive outcome
Meanwhile, the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) says it is refreshing to see a government that is looking to address the fundamental barriers that exist in the broader development process for rental housing.

"We are confident that this process will create an opportunity for the dialogue that will get new housing built in Ontario. Rental housing is a key part of the mix and we are encouraged by the early action in the Fall Economic Statement and the next steps announced today to set the path forward for further measures to address the supply issue. It demonstrates the government is serious about creating the housing options Ontarians need and deserve," said Tony Irwin, President and CEO of FRPO.


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