According to Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), the Government of Ontario recognizes the dire need to solve the housing affordability crisis.
“Yesterday’s announcement of the ‘More Homes for Everyone Act’ is another step in the right direction on housing supply from the Ford Government. OREA continues to advocate and call for more action on housing supply and the government has listened once again. The Bill is the second pro-affordable home ownership legislation that the Government of Ontario has introduced, following the ‘More Homes, More Choice Act’ that got us on the right path, with more homes starting construction in Ontario in 2021 alone than in any other year in more than two decades.”
The proposed Bill is expected to streamline the development application and approvals process and reduce fees, giving way to more housing supply and incentivizing timely municipal decisions on site planning. The new additions and improvements will go a long way in addressing affordability and the need for more transit-oriented communities, which is timely with news of the Ontario Line construction breaking ground earlier this week.
The Bill is also anticipated to increase consumer protection for purchasers of newly built homes by providing the Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA), the additional tools it needs to impose bigger fines and penalties for builders who break the rules.
The Bill also provides Tarion, formerly known as the Ontario New Home Warranty Program a not-for-profit consumer protection organization, with the regulatory authority to extend the duration of warranties so that new homeowners can rest assured that they are protected in case something goes wrong with their new home.
The ‘More Homes for Everyone Act’ also acts on some of the recommendations made by Ontario’s Housing Affordability Task Force, including:
- Using financial incentives during the application process to encourage municipalities to speed up zoning by-law amendments and act within the set legislated timelines.
- Increasing the certainty of development costs for the goal of building more housing and bringing down prices on new homes.
According to OREA, more can be done. The government continues to consult on recommendations made by the Housing Affordability Task Force and OREA that will bring home ownership closer to reach, such as ending exclusionary zoning.
“These are understandably bold changes and creating meaningful change will require courage and the wherewithal to stick with it. But at the end of the day, increasing housing supply and choice is the only way to help more people get the keys to their first home and I commend the Ford Government for bringing this Bill forward,” said Hudak.