By Alex Piccini
Provincial Government Passes New Housing Legislation
On April 23, the provincial government passed the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022. This legislation moves forward a number of critical changes long called for by OHBA and the residential construction industry to accelerate development approvals, reduce red tape and make it easier to deliver keys to eagerly awaiting families.
The More Homes for Everyone Act includes important measures to streamline municipal approval processes with delegated authorities, properly resource the Ontario Land Tribunal and implement a development approvals data standard that will help to accelerate the building process and bring more housing choice and supply to individuals and families looking for a place to call home. The legislation also makes important changes to utilize provincially owned lands for unique housing solutions and make prudent and common-sense Ontario Building Code changes that will enable more “missing middle” housing to get built. Ultimately, these changes will reduce burdensome red tape and make it easier to build more homes for all Ontarians to benefit from.
The More Homes for Everyone Act also moves ahead important and long-called-for initiatives by OHBA to accelerate the delivery of new housing in communities big and small. For instance, enabling the adoption of pay-on-demand surety bonds as an acceptable alternative to secure the financial obligations of development agreements. This is an important change and one that is in line with a number of jurisdictions—both within and outside of Ontario—that have taken this route to encourage and accelerate new housing investments in their communities. Such a measure will enable greater liquidity within the home building sector to reinvest more rapidly in additional new housing supply.
Additionally, enhancements to further resource and staff the Ontario Land Tribunal are highly welcomed by OHBA. The changes as part of the Act will provide more certainty for families and individuals hoping to move into their new home faster.
Bill 109 is an important first step toward increasing housing choice and supply across Ontario, but more bold reforms are still needed. Regardless, the time to take action is now.
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