5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario
Promising to create more housing supply was the first step, now industry leaders are calling on the Ford Government to action solutions that will bring much-needed supply into the marketplace and help solve the housing affordability issue facing many Ontarians.
This week, leaders from housing associations – the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Ontario Home Builders Association (OHBA) and the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) – gathered at the second annual Housing Summit event to examine bold policy prescriptions that will help Millennials get their hands on the keys to their first home.
“Keeping the dream of home ownership alive in Ontario requires bold policies and action from the provincial government,” says Tim Hudak, chief executive officer, OREA.
“First and foremost, to get more new homes in the marketplace, the building approvals process must be streamlined and zoning updated to allow for more homes in the right places. The best and fastest way to give Ontario’s first-time homebuyers a break is to eliminate the punishing land transfer tax for first-time buyers.”
“#Homebelievers know that government can support more housing choice and supply needed to make the great Canadian dream of home ownership a reality in existing, expanding, and established communities across Ontario,” adds OHBA chief executive officer Joe Vaccaro.
As advocates for greater home supply and home affordability in the province, OREA, OHBA and FRPO say the solutions to keeping housing within reach for young Ontarians include:
1 Speed up the planning approvals process
The home development approvals process can take up to 10 years in some parts of Ontario. Better alignment of municipal and provincial housing priorities, will get new homes to the market faster.
2 Build more homes and build them higher around and above transit stations
Use “As of Right” zoning to ensure housing intensification along rail transit lines and stations, exactly where many Millennials want and need them.
3 Provide first-time home buyer tax relief
Eliminate the land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers or dramatically increase the current rebate offered to first-timers.
4 Bring back the Ontario Municipal Board
The traditional role of the OMB has been to take the NIMBY out of housing decisions. Bringing back the OMB means evidence-based planning decisions, which will create more housing supply and choice.
5 Create new rental stock by reducing barriers and red tape
Adjust the annual rent increase guideline to CPI plus two per cent, implement a 20-year rent control rolling exemption on new construction and maintain vacancy decontrol.