Government just announce new measures to stimulate new homes construction and make homes more affordable

Thursday Oct 27th, 2022


Government Just Announce New Measures to Stimulate New Homes  Construction and Make Homes More Affordable

Provincial More Homes Built Faster Act

· Building more homes

  1. Address the missing middle – building without further planning approvals, three units permitted “as of right”
  2. Near transit – accelerating growth in 29 of Ontario’s largest municipalities

· Reducing costs, fees, and taxes

  1. Freeze, reduce and exempt fees to spur new home construction
    1. Affordable housing, non-profit housing and inclusionary zoning units, and select attainable housing units would be exempt from developmental charges, parkland dedication levies and community benefit charges.
    2. Up to 25% discount for family-sized units
    3. Freezing Conservation Authority fees for development permits and proposals
    4. Reviewing all other fees associated with development levied by provincial ministries, boards, agencies and commissions
    5. Reducing development charges, parkland requirements and fees, and community benefit charges.
    6. Requiring municipalities to spend or allocate 60% of development charge and parkland reserve balances each year, to build infrastructure
  2. Reduce taxes on affordable housing
    1. Incentivizing affordable housing – review of assessment methodology, GST/HST incentives (partnering with the federal government) including rebates for homes over $450K, exemptions and deferrals
  3. Promote fairness to support affordable and other rental housing
    1. Reduce tax burden on apartment buildings – municipal consultation on reduction of current property tax on multi-residential apartment buildings
  4. Inclusionary Zoning and rental replacement rules –
    1. Making inclusionary zoning rules more consistent - maximum 25 year affordability period, 5% cap on the number of affordable units and a standardized approach to determine an affordable price/rent
    2. Rental replacement rules – consultation to protect renters while building more, reviewing municipal limits on rebuilding on demolished sites of 6+ units

· Streamlining development approvals

  1. To get more homes built faster
    1. Streamline site plan control – remove site plan control requirements for projects of 10 units or less. For 10+ units propose accelerated approvals by focusing site plan reviews on health and safety rather than architectural or decorative landscape details
  2. Streamline process
    1. More efficient municipal approvals (date of proclaim will be announced at a later time) – proposed land for use policies and approvals for lower tier municipalities (Peel, York, Durham, Niagara, Halton, Simcoe, Waterloo)
    2. Fewer public meetings – making public meetings optional while accepting public feedback at early stages of process
    3. Aggregates – freeze on amendments will be lifted for aggregate projects, new official plans, secondary plans. Permitting ministry staff rather than minister to make certain decision on aggregate development applications. No changes to requirements.
  3. Improve the Ontario Land Tribunal – accelerate land tribunal decision making, prioritize cases that create most housing, establish service standards, clarify the OLT’s powers to dismiss appeals do to unreasonable delay. Limit third party appeals.
  4. Heritage planning
    1. Balancing the need for more housing with the need to protect heritage – identify and manage heritage properties effectively
  5. Natural Heritage planning
    1. Natural and environmental heritage – update the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System to remove duplicate requirements

· Helping homebuyers and renters

  1. Attainable housing program
    1. Identify surplus provincial land in areas across Ontario
    2. Promote innovative building techniques such as modular construction
    3. Alternative ownership models like land lease and rent-to-own
    4. Reduced government charges to cut costs
    5. MZO’s if needed to accelerate approvals
  2. Strengthen the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST)
    1. Streamline approval process to encourage more development
    2. Launch consultations to explore new financing models
    3. Increase the NRST from 20% to 25% effective October 25, 2022
    4. Other Key changes
  3. Address vacant homes
    1. Introduce measures to introduce vacant home taxes. Policy framework coming Winter 2022
    2. Establish a provincial-municipal working group to consult on framework and best practices
  4. Protect homebuyers from unethical developers
    1. Increase the maximum Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) amount from $25,000 to $50,000
    2. Allow Home Construction Regulatory Authority to direct proceeds of AMP and/or fines to consumers who have been impacted by poor practices
    3. Permit retroactive application of AMP to contraventions that occurred on or after April 14, 2022
    4. Consultation on administrative penalties in late 2022, if passed would come into force in early 2023
    5. Price escalation consultations scheduled for 2023

· Better planning

  1. Planning policy review – revoking the Parkway Belt West Plan and the Central Pickering Development Plan
  2. Identify more land for housing – identifying authority-owned land that can support housing development
  3. Build more schools in urban growth areas – new strategies for incorporating schools into high density areas


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