Nadia Todorova / RESCON
The Ontario government is pro-actively making strides to increase housing supply, cut red tape and improve transit for Ontarians.
This reflects a target on improving what we call the Holy Trinity: housing, transit and jobs.
RESCON applauds these moves and believes that they will have a positive impact on Ontario’s competitiveness.
Let’s reflect on some of the most recent announcements by the Ford government that indicate that help is on the way.
HOUSING SUPPLY ACTION PLAN
“We’re taking action to help create more housing faster, give people more choice and bring down housing costs,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, shown below.
Among the changes to get people into homes they can afford, the government has introduced legislation to make new rental units (as of November 15) exempt from rent control. The government is still preserving rent increase limits for existing tenants.
In addition, the government is developing a Housing Supply Action Plan through public input on ways the Province can remove barriers to building the right housing in the right places. Consultation has already begun: click here for the consultation’s downloadable toolkit.
The plan will be launched in spring 2019. The multi-pronged action plan will address barriers that inhibit the development of ownership and rental housing.
RESCON applauds this move and believes that more housing built the right way in the right areas will make Ontario more attractive to businesses and investors.
“Making housing more affordable will encourage people to start and grow businesses, right here at home,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, shown above.
This is music to our ears. We will be participating in the consultations by providing comprehensive feedback on the plan we’re already hard at work for our members.
CUTTING RED TAPE
Premier Doug Ford has consistently focused on ensuring that Ontario is open for business.
At the recent annual Ontario Realtor Party Conference Premier Ford stated: “I promised the people of Ontario that our government would help create more housing – and more housing people can afford. We’re keeping that promise.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford
His focus was evident in the recent government Fall Economic Statement (FES), A Plan for the People, which included cutting red tape initiatives to make it easier to build new housing in Ontario.
As we tweeted after the release of the FES, the government’s statement is a big step in the right direction.
Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek, shown below, told the Economic Club of Canada in a recent speech that the Ford government is focusing on “a market-driven approach” to getting people around the province. This will start with transit-oriented development to “let us partner with the private sector to build a new GO Transit station at Mimico, and get the work done at a lower cost to the taxpayer. The developer will pay all construction costs for the main station building, new parking and a greenway, in exchange for the right to develop above the station.”
This is just the beginning of buying air rights, something that RESCON has consistently advocated for –and it will help the province strive to achieve development targets laid out in the provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
This government-industry partnership is exactly what the province needs to kickstart desperately needed transit.
This legislation officially means the Ontario College of Trades will wind down within the next year, and it repeals the Bill 148 reforms that RESCON had objected to under the previous government. This will remove uncertainty for employers and restore previous employment standards which will stabilize the construction industry. For more information, see the association’s press release and the Real Estate Professional’s article.
As aforementioned, our team at RESCON is already hard at work with the consultation for the Housing Supply Action Plan. Our members’ and stakeholders’ opinions are valuable to us: please feel free to reach out to start a discussion. We’re looking forward to helping strengthen Canada’s economic engine to make it a better place for all Ontarians.
Thank you for reading!
Nadia Todorova is the director of government relations for RESCON and RCCAO. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.