The Ontario Government released its More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, outlining initiatives that will make it easier to build, afford, and access housing throughout the province.
“We must build smart and we must be flexible,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Housing must be built in the right places so we can maintain Ontario’s vibrant agricultural sector and employment lands, protect sensitive areas like the Greenbelt, and preserve cultural heritage. Every community should build in response to local interests and demand, building a mix of housing to accommodate diverse needs.”
Of interest to the condo industry are plans to update the Ontario Building Code to allow for new kinds of housing, reduce the costs and red tape involved with building new homes, support innovation in Ontario’s housing sector, and improve the appeals process for development-related disputes.
“Red tape and paperwork can add years to a construction project. We will maintain Ontario’s strong environmental protections, while making the development approvals process faster,” the government states.
The action plan also aims to make housing more accessible and affordable for provincial home buyers. That will include bringing more diverse housing options to market.
“We’ll make it easier to build different types of housing – from detached houses and townhomes to mid-rise rental apartments, second units and family-sized condos,” the action plan states, stressing, “We need a variety.”
With a focus on making it easier to build (and afford) a wider variety of housing, the action plan is being called a win for consumer choice. Heather Bone, a Toronto-based Research Fellow for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC) and Economics Ph.D. Student at the University of Toronto, said: “It is good to see the province is doing its part to reduce the red tape that makes it so difficult for developers to build.”