ONTARIO GOVERNMENT FINALLY ACTS ON HOUSING
It has been a long time coming, but our provincial government has taken a big step forward in easing the new home and condominium supply and affordability problems in Ontario. For years, builders and developers have urged changes in the lengthy municipal approvals process and the opening up of more land for residential development. The Housing Affordability Task Force recognized that affordability has a lot to do with demand outpacing supply and has made 55 recommendations that will help. Of special interest is the recommendation to reduce the power municipalities have in determining zoning, density and urban design. That will be shifted to the province, which will determine uniform standards for all of Ontario. The goal is to build 1.5 million homes over the next decade to address the supply shortage.
Once the recommendations are acted on, we will see increased density in neighbourhoods that were previously zoned for only single-family homes through more permissive land use. Municipalities will have their development costs examined by the province, which is good news, as development charges add greatly to new home prices. In return, municipalities that see more housing built will receive financial support. The process of holding public consultations will be limited. In other words, a lot of the red tape that holds back developers will be gone.
Apparently, we may see some reforms in place before the provincial election in June. You can read the Housing Affordability Task Force report at https://bit.ly/3HD76UP