On Thursday afternoon, Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli delivered the fall economic statement. Entitled A Plan for the People, the 155-page document details how the Progressive Conservative government plans to improve housing supply.
The document acknowledged that the housing supply in Ontario has been unable to keep up with the high demand for housing, specifically within the GTA. As a result, house prices and rent have increased across the board.
In response, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is set to launch a Housing Supply Action Plan next spring. The plan will be rolled out over the next 18 months.
In a statement, Tim Hudak, CEO for the Ontario Real Estate Association said “We’re pleased to see the Ford Government following our advice and ensuring the fading dream of home ownership will become a reality for more Ontario women, men and children. OREA looks forward to being a key advisor as the Government finalizes the Housing Supply Action Plan to provide solutions to make home ownership more affordable for Ontario families like speeding up approval times, intensifying along transportation corridors and building more missing middle housing.”
Exact details of the plan have yet to be revealed, however, the Ontario government says it will focus on increasing supply by addressing the barriers that inhibit housing development.
On the rental front, things are a little more clear.
Citing a need for more rental units, the government announced a reintroduction of rent control exemption on new rental units. The government hopes this move will encourage developers to build more affordable housing.
Existing rental units will still have rent control inforced. “OREA advocated for this change because increased rental supply will be good news for renters looking for more choice in the market…” Hudak stated.
The document also announced plans to cancel the Development Charges Rebate Program. The program which was described as “expensive and ineffective” provides rebates on the development of rental housing. By cancelling it, the government estimates a savings of $100 million over four years.