Here’s How the Ontario Government Plans to Tackle the Housing Crisis


The Ontario government recently announced that Bill 108 - entitled the 'More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019' - has been passed.

The announcement was made on June 6, 2019.

The recently passed act, according to the Ontario government, is a comprehensive legislation that will work to tackle the housing crisis.

“Our government wants to put affordable home ownership in reach of more Ontario families, and provide more people with the opportunity to live closer to where they work,” Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said in a statement. “That’s why we consulted widely and acted swiftly to face the housing crisis we inherited head on. This legislation will make it easier to build more homes, more quickly, giving people more housing options and helping to bring prices down.”

So, what exactly does this bill entail?

According to a recent press release, the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan outlines legislative, policy and regulatory changes across multiple ministries.

"It cuts red tape, makes costs more predictable, encourages different types of housing and promotes innovative new approaches to housing design and home ownership," reads the release. "More Homes, More Choice also protects Ontarians’ health and safety, the environment - including the Greenbelt - employment and agricultural lands, and our rich cultural heritage."

In addition, the newly passed bill will also work to help build the right types of homes in the right places. As a result, according to the release, renters will have more options and rent prices are expected to come down.

"More Homes, More Choice will support faster development near transit, so people can spend less time commuting and more time with family and friends. It will also boost the economy, as the residential housing sector is an important driver of economic growth and a source of job creation," notes the release. "Working together, we can create more housing, strengthen our economy and help ensure the hard-working people of Ontario have homes that meet their needs and their budgets."

However, up to 15 different existing pieces of legislation affecting heritage, conservation authorities, environment and even cannabiscould be impacted by this bill.

As a result, not everyone is in favour of the More Homes, More Choice Act.

Burlington recently passed a motion at their last council meeting on May 27 to request the province to not pass Bill 108 until more discussion and "its objectives for sound decision making for housing growth that meets local needs will be reasonably achieved," with staff saying a lack of charity, diminished public consultation, the 'spreading out' of development charges being paid and other reasons behind their decision.

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette also voiced his opposition to Bill 108 on Twitter, saying his town council also unanimously voted against it.

In Milton, a similar motion was introduced to halt Bill 108 until more information could be gathered and more consultation is done, which was also passed unanimously. And Oakville Mayor Rob Burton also said his town's position is that Bill 108 would do more harm than good, while also calling for more time to examine it.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie also commented on the bill. In a recent insauga article it was noted that Bill 108 could result in Mississauga residents paying more for the city's growth.

And when it comes to Brampton, a recent inbrampton article noted that the bill could have several impacts on residents that lead to tax increases. In addition, Brampton city council requested an extension to the consultation period, and that the Province conduct meaningful consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders before the Bill is passed. Mayor Patrick Brown has also sent a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark asking for an extension.

Graphic is courtesy of the Ontario government website.

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