Ontario’s Bill 23 jeopardizes affordable housing in Mississauga and Brampton: Region of Peel


Published February 16, 2023 at 10:48 am

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The Region of Peel is asking the province for funds for affordable housing in Mississauga and Brampton in the wake of Bill 23.

Ahead of the 2023 provincial budget, the Region of Peel is asking the province to compensate Peel for a “significant revenue loss” expected from Bill 23.

Bill 23 (More Homes Built Faster Act) pledges to incentivize the creation of more housing by freezing, reducing and exempting fees that developers typically pay to towns and cities, and it could cost the Region of Peel $2 billion over the next 10 years.

The exempt fees are on affordable and inclusionary zoning units, select attainable housing units, and non-profit housing developments. And rental housing construction will get reduced development charges of up to 25 per cent.

The fees, known as development charges, are used to pay for services to support new homes, such as road and sewer infrastructure and community centres.

Premier Doug Ford has said there was a miscommunication around the fees while Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said there is no guarantee in Bill 23 that developers will be required to pass cost savings onto purchasers.

And the Region of Peel warns of “unintended consequences” stemming from the changes to the development fees.

“The changes to the DC (Development Charges) Act jeopardize the HMP (Peel’s Housing Master Plan), putting approximately 1,000 units at risk of cancellation due to the loss of $200 million in DC funding for affordable housing services, and the knock-on loss of approximately a quarter billion dollars in matching federal financial commitments,” the Region of Peel’s provincial pre-budget submission reads.

In Peel, it is estimated that around 91,000 households live in housing that is unsuitable, inadequate or unaffordable, the Region of Peel notes.

The revenue shortfall from reduced development charges could mean Peel will take on additional debt, or force Peel to choose between significantly increasing taxes and utility rates or reducing service levels.

So, the Region of Peel is calling on the province to create a fund for shortfalls.

“Municipalities have demonstrated that they do not have room to absorb additional financial burdens related to growth,” the region notes. “As new measures included in Bill 23 are implemented, it is essential that the Province create a municipal compensation fund to compensate Peel Region and its local municipalities for revenue shortfalls and ensure revenue neutrality.”

The Region of Peel also asks for the province to consider stimulus infrastructure funding, hospital infrastructure local share requirement, community-based care, and sustainable communities in its 2023 budget.

For more, see the 2023 Region of Peel pre-budget submission.

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