By Joe Vaccaro, CEO of OHBA

It’s time for bold leadership to fix the housing issues facing Ontario communities

The urban dictionary defines the term, “elephant in the room” as “a very large issue that everyone is acutely aware of, but nobody wants to talk about. Perhaps a sore spot, perhaps politically incorrect, or perhaps a political hot potato, it’s something that no one wants to touch with a 10-foot pole.”

In terms of the generational housing and supply challenge that increasingly is making homeownership unaffordable in communities across Ontario, it’s not so much that we haven’t been talking about the problem for many, many years; it’s that not enough has been done about it. And as a result, the shortage of housing supply and choice is a growing problem. Consider the facts today:

  • 22% of the cost of a new home in the GTA is made up of government fees, taxes and charges.
  • Over 100,000 future housing units are stuck in a logjam at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), which is significantly reducing supply.
  • It now takes, on average, 10 years to complete a housing project in Ontario. The provincial government tells us there will be 2.6 million more #homebelievers who will call Ontario home by 2031.

 

Where are they going to live? In Ontario, we need 1 million more homes to meet our future housing needs. Let’s build housing in Ontario.

The More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 was passed in the Ontario Legislature on June 6. It lays the groundwork needed to tackle Ontario’s housing crisis and supports our industry’s efforts to build more homes that meet the needs of #homebelievers in every part of our province.

OHBA is very supportive of many of the initiatives in Bill 108, including:

  • Moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to community planning in Ontario;
  • Changes to rent controls that protect existing units and tenants while stimulating new construction;
  • Allowing development charges (DCs) for rental housing to be paid in installments over given years;
  • Changes that will create greater cost certainty and predictability for new homes;
  • Changes to Planning Act timelines that should speed up the approvals process. And while passage of the More Homes, More Choice Act provides our industry with a sense of optimism, there is still plenty of advocacy work to be done, particularly at the municipal level.

Our sense is that some local municipalities are guarded, if not skeptical, about the positive contributions our industry can make in building more homes to create better affordability. Some municipalities have even gone to extreme measures by imposing development freezes that will negatively impact the supply and the price of housing.

The advocacy work of OHBA and its local associations will ramp up again this summer as we support #homebelievers across Ontario and inform and educate all levels of government about the “elephant in the room.”

Because with another 2.6 million people arriving in the next 12 years, #weneed1MILLIONmorehomes

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