Province of Ontario Releases Housing Supply Action Plan

On May 2, the Ontario Government released their Housing Supply Action Plan (HSAP).

Read Full Supply Action Plan Here

In HSAP, the Ontario Government is working on cutting red tape and reducing regulations so the people of Ontario can build homes that will both meet their needs and budget. Additionally, the Ontario Government’s plan will, as a result, spur innovation while protecting tenants, health and safety, cultural heritage, and the environment.

Overall, the Ontario Government is working to address Ontario’s housing crisis by providing a plan that will make housing both affordable and effortless to build. The Ontario Government is planning to do so in five ways:

  1. Make the development approval process faster
  2. Make costs more predictable when building a new home
  3. Make a mix of different types of housing
  4. Make it easier to build rental housing
  5. Make the Ontario housing sector more innovative by encouraging creative housing designs and materials

In addition to previously-announced initiatives for housing, the HSAP specifically speaks to legislation and policy changes to increase housing supply, protection of historical and environmental resources, increasing rental resources, and consumer protection. These are outlined below.

 

Making it Easier to Build More Housing

The Ontario Government is attempting to make it easier to build new housing by proposing amendments to various legislation and regulatory processes:

Planning Act:

  • New planning decision timeline of 120 days for official plans, 90 days for zoning by-laws, and 120 days for plans of subdivisions
  • Make it easier to create residential units above garages for detached, semi-detached, and row houses in both the primary dwelling and ancillary building or structure
  • Build both housing and affordable housing near transit
  • Streamline the planning approval process to 45 days to help municipalities implement community planning permit systems
  • Create the new community benefits authority to make upfront development costs more predictable by replacing the existing density bonus provision
  • Create more clarity on what communities and developers can build and where to build

 

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal:

  • Hire more adjudicators to help address the backlog of legacy cases
  • Ensure the tribunal has the power and resources needed
  • Allow the tribunal to make planning decisions in place of Council

 

Provincial Policy Statement

  • Encourage the development of more and different types of housing
  • Reduce costs for developers and provide greater predictability
  • Update planning and development policies to reflect Ontario’s changing needs

 

Development Charges Act

  • Reduce the costs to build priority housing types, such as second units
  • Fully cover municipality waste diversion costs
  • Make the costs of development clear from the outset

 

Ontario Building Code

  • Remove the requirement that all new homes include the infrastructure for an electric vehicle charge station
  • Harmonize Ontario Code with National Codes to open new markets for manufacturing and bring building costs down

 

Protecting Natural and Historic Resources

The Ontario Government will aim to maintain national and historic resources protected by proposing amendments to various legislation:

Ontario Heritage Act

  • Maintain local control over heritage conservation decisions while providing clear direction and timelines for local decision makers
  • Ensuring municipal decisions on designation and alternations to heritage properties can be appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), whose decisions are binding

 

Environmental Assessment Act & Environment Protection Act

  • Streamline processes for projects that pose little risk to the environment
  • Reduce the amount of soil sent to landfills from constructions sites by making it easier and safer to reuse soil
  • Clarify the rules and remove an unnecessary barrier to building on vacant land
  • Improve service standards to reduce the delays

 

Rental Resources

  • Create more rental units and work toward cutting red tape around development approvals so new homes will become available to renter sooner
  • Work with municipalities and businesses to find housing solutions to attract investment and jobs
  • Aid homeowners to create secondary legal suits by providing a user-friendly checklist
  • Clarify rules and help people understand how to take advantage of creative solutions, such as tiny homes, laneway housing, co-home ownership, etc.

 

Consumer Protection

  • Making it easier for new home buyers to check out a developer’s track record in the Ontario Builder Directory
  • Adding more proactive, risk-based inspections by Tarion during construction to make sure homes are built properly
  • When new home buyers have problems, creating an easy-to-use process to help them resolve disputes quickly and fairly
  • Transforming the Tarion Warranty Corporation, which protects new home buyers against shoddy construction and delays – so home builders aren’t regulating themselves
  • Strengthening protections for new home buyers and helping people who have bought condominiums, only to have the project cancelled

 

In summary, Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan aims to foster growth in the housing market across Ontario.

For more information on Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, please click on the link here.

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