Ontario may nix red tape to build millions of homes faster amid huge housing deficit
It's no wonder that Ontario is home to the most expensive real estate market in the country given that the province has the lowest housing supply for its residents of any other, with prices set to keep on rising to hit an average of a shocking $1.2 million in Toronto this year amid soaring demand.
But a new set of formal recommendations from the province's Housing Affordability Task Force, if heeded, will mean some major changes to the way housing projects are approved.
Ontario has published the report from the Housing Affordability Task Force, which highlights expert recommendations for additional measures to increase market housing supply and address the housing crisis. Learn more: https://t.co/QY6Cl6rfVQ #housingsupply pic.twitter.com/LZI5BVRyAP— Ontario Housing (@housingON) February 8, 2022
A new report from the group, released Tuesday, advises Premier Doug Ford and his team to change density and zoning rules, among other things, to get 1.5 million new homes up in the next decade.
While it's incontrovertible that more housing is much needed, there are definitely some suggestions that many residents may take issue with, including shortening the timelines for both municipal approvals and public consultation about proposed developments, as well as removing city policies that preserve neighbourhood character.
.@blogTO: “Ontario has less housing stock for its residents than any other province in Canada”— Phillip Roh (@TOproh) January 15, 2022
Statscan: ‘Ontario homes are yuge’#SizeNotSupply #cdnecon #HousingNowTO #onpolihttps://t.co/OwP4qw8d4Rhttps://t.co/3rjs02xeno pic.twitter.com/vX2yurhSmZ
Given that cities like Toronto already aren't exactly known for doing the most to preserve the few historical buildings we have left, and that those in notoriously wealthy neighbourhoods tend to prefer to keep density at a minimum, there will inevitably be some backlash.
And, there already has been to Ford's employment of controversial Minister's Zoning Orders (MZOs) to move projects ahead with little-to-no municipal or public input.
Why y’all upset, everything that’s isn’t a condo is gonna be torn down to be a condo soon.— Enouka (@enouka97) April 16, 2021
The many specific suggestions from the task force fall into five main areas that it wants the government to focus on:
As members write in their report, "lengthy reviews, bureaucratic red tape, and costly appeals are making it too difficult to build new housing. We propose an ambitious and achievable goal to build 1.5 million homes over the next ten years and the steps needed to get there."
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