Ontario Making it Easier to Buy a Home
TORONTO ― Ontario has received royal assent for legislation to support the government’s More Homes for Everyone plan, which delivers both near-term solutions and long-term commitments to build more homes faster to put home ownership within reach for all Ontario families.
The More Homes for Everyone plan outlines the next suite of concrete actions the province is taking to address Ontario’s housing crisis, such as protecting homebuyers from unethical development practices and accelerating development timelines to get more homes built faster. The plan is built on recommendations from the Housing Affordability Task Force and the first-ever Ontario-Municipal Housing Summit, as well as input from municipalities and the public. It includes:
- Working with municipalities to identify and enhance measures that will crack down on land speculation and protect home buyers. This is in response to feedback the province solicited from municipalities regarding projects that are approved by the municipality, but unbuilt by the developer.
- Strengthening consumer protections for purchasers of new homes by doubling fines and extending building license suspensions to address unethical conduct by developers, while ensuring penalties for cancelled projects are aligned with the impact on homebuyers. The government will also enable Tarion to extend warranties on unfinished items in a new home.
- Supporting municipalities with resources, tools and standards to provide timely review and adjudication processes by both extending legislated timelines for decisions while focusing the decision-making process. This builds on the province’s investment of up to $350 million through the Streamline Development Approvals Fund, Municipal Modernization Program, and Audit and Accountability Fund to help municipalities implement efficiencies, including in their planning and development approval processes.
- Creating a new tool specifically designed to accelerate planning processes for municipalities. The Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator will help municipalities expedite approvals for housing and community infrastructure, like hospitals and community centres, with clear requirements for both consultation and public notice.
“With the passage of the More Homes for Everyone Act, our government is taking the next step in our long-term plan to deliver on the Housing Affordability Task Force’s report, and help more Ontarians realize the dream of home ownership,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “But there is still more work to be done. As we continue to collaborate with our municipal and industry partners, our government commits to a housing supply action plan every year over four years to deliver gentle density and multi-generational homes in communities across our province.”
As part of the More Homes For Everyone plan, Ontario increased and expanded the Non-Resident Speculation Tax, is making it easier to build more community housing by making better use of provincially owned lands including providing surplus lands in Vaughan for non-profit housing, and is strengthening the community housing system for residents and workers by establishing a new regulatory framework under the Community Housing Renewal Strategy and also with historic investments through the nearly $1.2 billion Social Services Relief Fund and $464 million Homelessness Prevention Program.
- Ontario is consulting with the public, municipalities and stakeholders until April 29, 2022, to develop recommendations on how to deliver gentle density and support multi-generational communities, as well as addressing housing needs in rural and northern communities. These consultations will feed into the Housing Supply Working Group, which the ministry will establish this summer, through which the province will engage with municipalities, the federal government, and industry partners on the development and implementation of these measures.
- In 2021, two years after implementing More Homes, More Choice, Ontario had more than 100,000 new housing starts, the highest level since 1987, and the highest level of new rental starts in 30 years (since 1991).
- A Scotiabank housing report found that Ontario is one of the few provinces in Canada below the national average for the supply of homes per capita, with Canada having the lowest amount of housing per capita of any of the G7 countries.
- More Homes for Everyone is the result of a three-part consultation with industry, municipalities, and the public. This includes the report from the Housing Affordability Task Force, which highlights expert recommendations to increase supply and serves as Ontario’s long-term housing roadmap to address the housing crisis.
- Along with the measures to cut red tape and get homes built faster, Ontario is helping municipalities make their planning and approvals processes more efficient and identify potential savings through the new Streamline Development Approval Fund (over $45 million provided) as well as the Municipal Modernization Program (over $68 million provided through three intakes) and the Audit and Accountability Fund (approximately $23 million provided through three intakes). This funding is helping municipalities streamline and modernize their planning processes including official plan and zoning updates, plan of subdivision and site plan approvals, and improve their delivery of other local services.