LONDON — Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, addressed delegates at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference. He spoke about the progress the government is making on its plan to get at least 1.5 million homes built by 2031 as well as the next steps it is taking to tackle the housing supply crisis in communities across Ontario.
Glad for the chance to have productive discussions about how we can work together to build the homes… pic.twitter.com/jzLutgiSYi
— Steve Clark (@SteveClarkPC) August 22, 2023
Minister Clark announced that the province intends to appoint regional facilitators in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Waterloo, York and Simcoe County by September 11, 2023. These facilitators will be tasked with assessing local governance structures in these communities to ensure they are prepared to support future growth and meet the needs of their residents, particularly when it comes to building homes and housing-enabling infrastructure.
Minister Clark also announced the next steps in the province’s work to update the provincial definition of affordable housing, which will support the government’s efforts to lower the cost of building affordable homes. The government intends to introduce changes to the Development Charges Act that would, if passed, incorporate income factors in addition to market factors in this definition. To ensure low- and moderate-income Ontarians in all parts of the province can find a truly affordable home, affordable homes that meet the province’s definition would be eligible for discounts and exemptions on development-related fees, to help lower the cost of building, purchasing and renting affordable homes across the province.
“Our government remains intently focused on helping Ontarians find the homes they need and deserve,” said Minister Clark. “We are working closely with our municipal partners to ensure they have the tools they need to meet their housing targets and will keep fighting to reach our goal of 1.5 million homes by 2031.”
The government will continue to work with other levels of government, industry and non-profit partners in order to achieve shared housing goals. To that end, a provincially hosted Housing Forum in November 2023 will bring together stakeholders and municipal representatives to discuss how Ontario can best continue increasing the supply of homes.
Through its recent Housing Supply Action Plans, the government has strengthened protections for renters and homebuyers, streamlined local development approval processes, and made it faster and easier to build homes under the Building Code, with the next edition of the Code expected to be released later this year.
In 2022, housing starts in the province surpassed 96,000 – the second-highest number since 1988 and 30 per cent higher than the annual average for the past 20 years. Rental housing construction improved as well, with 2022 setting a new record of nearly 15,000 starts. The trend continues in 2023, with a seven per cent increase in starts over the first seven months vs. 2022 and a 44 per cent increase in rental starts.
- The government intends to support municipal efforts to tackle the housing supply crisis by creating a new Building Faster Fund, which will provide up to $1.2 billion over three years to municipalities across Ontario that meet or exceed their housing targets.
- The province is expanding strong mayor powers to 21 additional municipalities, provided heads of council adopt a municipal housing pledge based on a target provided by the province.
- A majority of the province’s population growth over the next 30 years is expected to occur in southern Ontario.
- Ontario municipalities follow either a single-tier or two-tier system of government. In a two-tier system, municipal responsibilities set out under the Municipal Act and other provincial legislation are split between an upper-tier and several lower-tier municipalities. In a single-tier system, they are the responsibility of a single-tier municipality.
SOURCE: Province of Ontario