Plan includes measures to address foreign real-estate speculation, unfair home sale cancellations
Ontario’s provincial government recently introduced sweeping legislation to advance its plan to increase housing supply in the province.
The More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 (Bill 23) proposes amendments to multiple provincial statutes to support Ontario’s newest “Housing Supply Action Plan.” The plan is part of the government’s long-term strategy to increase housing supply and provide attainable housing options for Ontario residents and their families.
“For too many Ontarians, including young people, newcomers, and seniors, finding the right home is still too challenging. This is not just a big-city crisis: the housing supply shortage affects all Ontarians, including rural, urban and suburban, north and south, young and old,” Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark said.
“Our Housing Supply Action Plan is creating a strong foundation on which 1.5 million homes can be built over the next 10 years. Our government is following through on our commitment to Ontarians by cutting delays and red tape to get more homes built faster,” Clark added.
The plan contains approximately 50 measures. According to the ministry, it seeks to address the housing crisis in Ontario by reducing government fees and fixing developmental approval delays that slow down housing construction and increase costs. Measures in the plan include:
- Creating a new attainable housing program to drive the development of housing. Sites across all regions of Ontario will be considered, including those in the north, central, east and southwest regions;
- Increasing the non-resident speculation tax rate from 20 to 25 percent to deter non-resident investors from speculating on the province’s housing market and help make home ownership more attainable for Ontario residents;
- Freezing and reducing government charges to spur new home construction and reduce the costs of housing;
- Building more density near transit, unlocking innovative approaches to design and construction, and removing red tape to get shovels in the ground faster;
- Doubling maximum fines for unethical builders and vendors of new homes who unfairly cancel projects or terminate purchase agreements.
The ministry confirmed that the province would also consult with the public, stakeholders, and municipalities and engage with Indigenous communities to review provincial housing and land use planning policies to find ways to remove more barriers to getting homes built.
“Ontario’s housing supply crisis is a problem which has been decades in the making,” Associate Minister of Housing Michael Parsa said. “It will take both short-term strategies and long-term commitment from all levels of government, the private sector, and not-for-profits to drive change.”