Ontario Supporting Affordable Home and Job Creation
Changes would make it cheaper and easier to build and find affordable homes
September 28, 2023
Municipal Affairs and Housing
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TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government introduced the Affordable Homes and Good Jobs Act, which, if passed, would make it cheaper and easier to build affordable homes, provide certainty to municipalities and help more Ontarians find an affordable home based on their household income. This would help support measures made through the government’s housing supply actions plans and its commitment to help communities across Ontario build at least 1.5 million homes by 2031.
The proposed change would update the definition of affordable housing units that would qualify for development-related charge discounts and exemptions. This approach reflects the ability of local households to pay for housing and recognizes the diversity of housing markets across the province. It also supports the government’s efforts to lower the cost of building, purchasing and renting affordable homes across the province.
“Too many people in Ontario are struggling to find a home that they can afford and our government is working hard to help them,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This proposed legislation will increase the supply of affordable housing across Ontario and make it easier for people to find a home that truly meets their needs and their budgets.”
The proposed change would more closely align with the definition of affordable housing in the current Provincial Policy Statement. This definition has been in place since 2005 and is currently in effect provincewide.
Ontario will also be consulting on new regulations as part of the ongoing strategy to streamline hearings and speed up decisions at the Ontario Land Tribunal. The results from this fall’s consultations will help set service standards and prioritize resolution of certain cases, including cases that would create the most housing.
The government is also proposing changes that would, if passed, help support Volkswagen Group and PowerCo SE’s historic investment to build an electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing facility in the City of St. Thomas, creating thousands of jobs. These changes would give the City of St. Thomas the authority to provide PowerCo SE municipal-based incentives that were negotiated in partnership with the municipality.
“We’re growing Ontario’s automotive supply chain by partnering with St. Thomas and local communities to create the right conditions for growth,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “The proposed legislation will support key investments and deliver cost savings for critical infrastructure projects in St. Thomas and the surrounding region, strengthening the local economy and helping to create more good-paying jobs.”
To support procurement savings and efficiencies at the municipal level across the province, the government will also be engaging and collaborating with municipalities to ensure they can benefit from provincial supply chain programs and strategies, led by Supply Ontario. Increasing procurement collaboration with municipalities supports Ontario’s commitment of leveraging consolidated spending to enable cost savings and efficiencies in all levels of government in Ontario.
- The province is seeing meaningful progress in its plan to build homes. Both 2021 and 2022 saw the most housing starts in over 30 years, with close to 100,000 homes built in each year. In 2022, Ontario recorded close to 15,000 purpose-built rental housing starts, the highest number on record.
- Ontario is working closely with the federal government to increase the supply of purpose-built rentals by removing both the federal and provincial portions of the HST, a measure that will make it easier and cheaper to build this important housing type.
- Ontario is continuing to take steps to tackle the housing supply crisis and meet its pledge of at least 1.5 million new homes by 2031, including implementing recommendations of its Housing Affordability Task Force and through the introduction of its most recent housing supply action plan, Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants.
- Ontario’s recent additional funding investments, including $14.7 million over three years starting April 2022 and $11.8 million over three years starting April 2023, are helping the Ontario Land Tribunal to streamline processes, improve customer service and resolve land use planning disputes more quickly.
“We are focused on creating the conditions for growth and construction to take place and making it less expensive to get housing built. Far too many people are struggling with the rising cost of living and with finding housing that meets their family’s needs. Discounts and exemptions on development-related fees could help lower the cost of building, purchasing, and renting affordable homes across the province, helping to ensure more Ontarians in all parts of the province can find a truly affordable home.”
– Rob Flack
Associate Minister of Housing
“Municipalities are committed to working with the province to increase housing supply and improve housing affordability. Including income as a measure of affordability in Ontario is essential to making home ownership and rental housing more affordable for more people.”
– Colin Best
President of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario
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