Ontario is Making It Easier to Buy a HomePublished on March 30, 2022
Province introduces plan that will crack down on market speculation, protect homebuyers, and increase housing supply
TORONTO ― Today, the Ontario government introduced legislation that, if passed, will support a plan to crack down on speculators who are driving up the cost of housing, protect homebuyers from predatory development practices, and create more housing options for homeowners and renters by accelerating development timelines to get more homes built faster. The More Homes for Everyone Act outlines the next suite of concrete actions the province is taking to address Ontario’s housing crisis. This plan, built on recommendations from the Housing Affordability Task Force and the first-ever Provincial-Municipal Housing Summit, will deliver both near-term solutions and long-term commitments to provide more attainable housing options for Ontario families.
“Ontario is the best place to live, start a business and raise a family, but we can only build on our success if all hardworking Ontarians and their families are able to find the home they need and want,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As Ontario’s population and our economy continue to grow, building more homes is another way that we’re keeping costs down for families across the province.”
More Homes for Everyone is a plan that would deliver real solutions to address Ontario’s housing crisis by:
- Increasing the non-resident speculation tax rate to 20 per cent, expanding the tax beyond the Greater Golden Horseshoe to apply provincewide and closing loopholes to fight tax avoidance, effective March 30, 2022. The tax applies to homes purchased anywhere in Ontario by foreign nationals, foreign corporations or taxable trustees.
- Working with municipalities to identify and enhance measures that will crack down on land speculation and protect home buyers. This is in response to feedback the province solicited from municipalities regarding projects that are approved by the municipality, but unbuilt by the developer.
- Strengthening consumer protections for purchasers of new homes by doubling fines and extending building license suspensions to address unethical conduct by developers, while ensuring penalties for cancelled projects are aligned with the impact on homebuyers. The government is also proposing to enable Tarion to extend warranties on unfinished items in a new home.
- Supporting municipalities with resources, tools and standards to provide timely review and adjudication processes by both extending legislated timelines for decisions while focusing the decision-making process.
- Creating a new tool specifically designed to accelerate planning processes for municipalities. The Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator would help municipalities expedite approvals for housing and community infrastructure, like hospitals and community centres, with clear requirements for both consultation and public notice. The tool could not be used in the Greenbelt, maintaining the government’s commitment to protecting this valued area.
- Investing more than $19 million to help the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) and the Landlord and Tenant Board to reduce their backlogs. This funding will enable the tribunals to appoint new adjudicators, have resources on hand for mediation, and resolve land use planning and tenant and landlord disputes more quickly. This will also allow the OLT to expand their digital offerings to further enhance efficiency and provide more e-services.
- Conducting consultation on the concept of a multi-generational community, which will begin the process of implementing “missing middle” housing policies that will work to implement gentle density and multi-generational homes on the ground across different types of municipalities.
- Making it easier to build more community housing by making better use of provincially-owned lands for non-profit housing providers. To preserve the existing stock of community housing and modernize the system for those who depend on it, the government has established a new regulatory framework under the Community Housing Renewal Strategy that encourages housing providers to stay in the system and help vulnerable Ontarians get back on their feet.
Ontario commits to a housing supply action plan every year over four years, starting in 2022-23, with policies and tools that support implementing the recommendations from the housing affordability Task Force’s report.
“Through consultations with the public, the first ever Provincial-Municipal Housing Summit, and the Housing Affordability Task Force, we heard that speculative behavior in the market and long, drawn-out approval processes are making it too difficult for Ontarians to realize the dream of home ownership. Our government’s plan proposes smart, targeted measures to protect consumers, and make the process work better and faster, help more Ontarians find the home that’s right for them and their families,” said Minister Clark. “However, there is no silver bullet to addressing the housing crisis. It requires a long-term strategy with long-term commitment and coordination at all levels of government. We are committed to introducing an update to Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan every year over four years in partnership with municipalities and sector associations and deliver long-term solutions for all Ontarians.”
“Our government is cracking down on bad actors and defending future homeowners from unethical and egregious practices, ensuring developers looking to make a quick buck will think twice before trying to take advantage of hard-working Ontarians,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “These changes will not only improve access to housing but will also protect Ontarians making one of the biggest purchases of their lives – a new home.”
- In 2021, two years after implementing More Homes, More Choice, Ontario had more than 100,000 new housing starts, the highest level since 1987, and the highest level of new rental starts in 30 years (since 1991).
- A Scotiabank housing report found that Ontario is one of the few provinces in Canada below the national average for the supply of homes per capita, with Canada having the lowest amount of housing per capita of any of the G7 countries.
- More Homes for Everyone is the result of a three-part consultation with industry, municipalities, and the public. This includes the report from the Housing Affordability Task Force, which highlights expert recommendations to increase supply and serves as Ontario’s long-term housing road-map to address the housing crisis.
- Along with the measures to cut red tape and get homes built faster, our government is helping municipalities make their planning and approvals processes more efficient and identify potential savings through the new Streamline Development Approval Fund (over $45 million provided) as well as the Municipal Modernization Program (over $68 million provided through three intakes) and the Audit and Accountability Fund (over $23 million provided through three intakes). This funding is helping municipalities streamline and modernize their planning processes including official plan and zoning updates, plan of subdivision and site plan approvals, and improve their delivery of other local services.
- Ontario is consulting with the public, municipalities and stakeholders to develop recommendations on how to support gentle density for multi-generational and missing middle housing, as well as addressing housing needs in rural and northern communities.
- Ontario is also consulting with the public on proposed regulation changes to address unethical condo cancellations. Provide your input at: Proposed regulations to better inform and protect purchasers of condominium homes (ontariocanada.com)