GRANT CAMERON, RESCON
The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is applauding legislation introduced by the province today which takes aim at the critical lack of housing supply. RESCON is the province’s leading association of residential builders committed to providing leadership and fostering innovation in the industry.
“The More Homes for Everyone Act, tabled in the Legislature by Municipal Affairs, and Housing Minister Steve Clark, is the type of forward-thinking action needed to help increase the supply of housing in Ontario,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall. “The measures being proposed in this legislation are a good first step toward a solution to the crisis.”
Specifically, the legislation commits to a housing supply action plan every year over four years and proposes measures to streamline municipal approval processes. Municipalities would be required to gradually refund application fees if a decision isn’t made within legislative timelines. A new tool, called the Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator, is also proposed which would help municipalities accelerate approvals related to housing and community infrastructure.
The legislation, meanwhile, also recommends changes to the Building Code which would streamline modular multi-unit residential building approvals and facilitate more infill and low-rise multi-unit housing.
RESCON has been pressing for action, by the provincial and federal governments, on the housing front. In March, we held a summit to explore the issue and figure out what to do, going forward. Importantly, the summit generated plenty of ideas and highlighted, the idea the federal and Ontario governments and big-city mayors in the province are all aligned on the seriousness of the housing crisis.
Lack of housing and high prices are causing talent to leave our cities. Young people are no longer able to afford a house and start families. The cost of buying a new home in Ontario has nearly tripled in the past decade, and prices are still rising. The problem threatens our economic recovery.
“We are falling far short of the number of new homes needed to keep up with our immigration and population growth,” added Lyall. “Demand is only going to increase, and our ability to attract talent and business investment very much depends on adequate and affordable housing. The More Homes for Everyone Act is just the first of many steps which must be taken to address the housing crisis.”