Ontario Liberals Introduce Bill to Facilitate Fourplex Construction

4-Plex Building in Mississauga (image source: X/ @citymississauga)

The Ontario Liberals have introduced a bill aimed at facilitating the construction of fourplexes across the province. This move aligns with a recommendation from the Housing Affordability Taskforce, commissioned by the Ford government before the 2022 election. The bill proposes allowing the construction of four-unit, four-storey buildings on residential urban properties without prior municipal approval. It addresses concerns about housing affordability and aims to streamline the construction process.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie, previously involved in facilitating fourplex construction in Mississauga, expressed support for the bill. Despite earlier resistance from Mississauga councillors, Crombie utilized her “strong mayor” powers to override opposition and legalize fourplexes. The bill aims to replicate this success statewide.

There’s been political contention over similar proposals in the past. Green Leader Mike Schreiner tabled legislation for provincewide legalization of fourplexes and midrise housing, but it faced obstacles from the Ford government. However, the Ontario Liberals are confident in the readiness of their bill for immediate enactment.

In addition to housing policy, Crombie addressed the issue of carbon tax. She refrained from commenting on the federal carbon tax but emphasized a focus on a made-in-Ontario solution. Crombie stated opposition to imposing a carbon tax on consumers and announced plans for a climate change panel to explore alternative measures.

The Progressive Conservatives criticized Crombie, labeling her as “the queen of the carbon tax,” and raised concerns about the composition of the climate change panel. Crombie reiterated the panel’s mandate to reject the carbon tax and emphasized their commitment to finding innovative solutions without burdening Ontarians with additional taxes.

Regarding the upcoming byelection in Milton, Crombie denied rumors about the Liberal candidate nomination and stated her consideration for running in the election.

The introduction of the housing bill coincides with a housing crisis in Ontario, as the province falls short of its housing start goals. Demographic projections suggest a significant gap between housing construction and population growth, highlighting the urgency of addressing housing affordability and supply issues.

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