Ontario government commits to housing action plan
The Ontario government says it is committed to a housing plan that makes more good quality places to live available for “the hardworking people of the province.”
“In communities all across Ontario, people are struggling to find housing they can afford,” says 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.”
Ontario is knocking down barriers to people getting housing they can afford that meets their needs, through:
- Legislation that would make new rental units exempt from rent control, effective Nov. 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.
The demand for housing in Ontario has risen rapidly in recent years, driven by strong population growth and low interest rates. However, the supply of housing has not kept pace, leading to higher prices and rents.
Building more housing will also help make Ontario more attractive to businesses and investors, restoring the province to its rightful place as the economic engine of Canada.
“High housing costs are a barrier to job creators, large and small, because employees need affordable places to live,” says 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.”
“The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) of the GTA is very supportive of the development of a Housing Supply Action Plan for Ontario,” says David Wilkes, president and CEO. “Shortfall in supply is a key factor undermining housing affordability, increasing rents and creating barriers to home ownership. We applaud the Ford government’s commitment to address key issues affecting the housing supply and ultimately the affordability of housing in the GTA.”
The Toronto Real Estate Board, for its part, applauds the Province’s announcement.
“The Toronto Real Estate Board applauds the provincial government for taking action to ensure that our city, region and province have an adequate supply and appropriate mix of housing,” TREB said in a release.
Nowhere are housing supply and mix issues more of a priority than in the GTA, where TREB’s 53,000 members operate, the association says. “TREB realtors work with home buyers and sellers every day and they see the challenges caused by inadequate supply and mix of housing.
“We look forward to participating in the provincial government’s consultation process on this issue and helping our region and province to remain one of the best places to live in the world.”