Premier Ford meets with rural mayors to tackle housing crisis
Published January 24, 2022 at 10:29 am
Premier Doug Ford said the province said it is continuing its commitment to tackle Ontario’s housing crisis at a meeting with the province’s rural mayors, reeves and wardens.
Speaking at the virtual Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference (ROMA) conference on Monday, Ford called a lack of housing supply one of the “most pressing issues facing Ontario today.”
“We can’t – and won’t – wait any longer to address this crisis and we will deliver the housing options that all Ontarians need,” Ford said in his remarks at the conference on Monday.
The conference runs until Tuesday, and Ford along with Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark met with leaders of rural, remote and northern communities on Sunday to discuss housing challenges.
Last week the premier also met with the mayors of Ontario’s big cities and promised funds to help large municipalities speed up development approvals.
Ford said the housing supply crisis hurts Ontarians in every corner of the province, with home ownership slipping further out of reach for more residents every year.
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario said in a letter to Clark that the two housing meetings are a good start, but addressing the housing crisis will take joint action.
The province projects that Ontario will see a population increase of more than 2 million people over the next decade.
In and around the Greater Golden Horseshoe, municipalities like Simcoe County could see a 17 per cent population increase which would require over 35,000 new homes. Wellington County is also expected to see significant growth at 18 per cent, needing some 8,100 new homes.
The province says housing policies under its More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan are working to make housing more affordable by increasing the supply of the full range of housing options, from missing middle, to high-rises and family-sized rentals, to single-family homes.
In 2021, Ontario saw the highest level of housing starts in history and the highest level of rental starts in thirty years, but the province said more needs to be done to increase the housing supply and meet demands, which is driving home prices out of reach for too many Ontarians.
A recent Scotiabank housing report concluded that Ontario is last in the country in per capita rates of housing, and would need to build 1.2 million additional homes to match the per capita housing rate of other G7 countries.
Along with municipal collaboration, the province recently held a public consultation on increasing housing supply, and says it is engaging with industry leaders through the Housing Affordability Task Force. The province said it will provide recommendations in a report in early 2022.
With files from the Canadian Pressinsauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising