Bill to tackle delays that slow down home construction and drive up prices, says official
Premier Doug Ford’s government will on Wednesday unveil the first phase of its plan to deal with the skyrocketing cost of buying a home in Ontario, CBC News has learned.
The government will table a bill that takes aim at delays in city planning approvals slowing down home construction and driving up prices, said a senior provincial official with knowledge of the legislation.
The bill “lays the foundation” for what the official described as the government’s long-term strategy to address the root causes of Ontario’s housing problem.
While high housing prices are nothing new in the Greater Toronto Area, the cost of buying a home just about everywhere in Ontario is also soaring.
In 2021, the average sale price of homes in the province was 44 per cent higher than two years earlier, according to figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association.
The legislation is to be tabled Wednesday by Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark.
“The bill is really focused on making the planning process work better and smoother and faster,” said the official. The legislation also includes measures that make it easier to build affordable housing and to preserve Ontario’s existing stock of affordable housing, the official added.
The measures come after a provincially appointed task force on housing affordability urged the government to set a target of 1.5 million new homes to be built in the coming decade. That target is double the current pace of new construction.
To get more homes built more quickly, the task force recommended the province impose sweeping changes on cities. The proposals include increasing density in neighbourhoods of single-family homes, spending less time spent in public consultations on housing projects and imposing deadlines for housing approvals.