Ontario proposes housing affordability task force amid high prices and sales

TORONTO — Ontario is planning to determine a housing affordability activity pressure, as each costs and the variety of home sales have grown up to now 12 months, although it’s a pledge the opposition events dismiss as meaningless.

Telling figures illustrating the province’s heated housing markets will be discovered within the authorities’s not too long ago launched fall financial assertion. In 2020-21, Ontario bought about $3.7 billion in income from land switch taxes. On this fiscal 12 months, it’s projected to skyrocket to greater than $5 billion.

That’s even $759 million increased than the projections in Ontario’s 2021-22 first-quarter funds, launched simply three months in the past.

Additionally contained within the fall financial assertion is one line promising the institution of a housing affordability activity pressure to offer suggestions to the minister of municipal affairs and housing.

Learn extra:
October home sales down 7%, new listings fell by 34% from last year: Toronto board

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A spokeswoman for Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark stated the federal government is hoping to construct on its housing provide motion plan.

“We all know there’s nonetheless extra to do, which is why we’re making a Housing Affordability Activity Power to determine different alternatives to get shovels within the floor sooner, take away duplication and boundaries, and make housing extra reasonably priced for hardworking Ontarians,” director of communications Zoe Knowles stated in an announcement.

“It should discover measures to help market housing provide and affordability, and supply the federal government with methods and recommendation to proceed to deal with Ontario’s housing disaster.”

The present plan has the Progressive Conservative authorities investing extra in new housing, and so they word that year-to-date residence begins are 16 per cent increased than within the earlier 12 months, and rental housing begins are 14 per cent increased.

Within the resale market, a frenzy peaked in March 2021 at a document excessive, earlier than moderating by September. However in that month the common residence resale worth in Ontario was 31.4 per cent increased than the February 2020 pre-pandemic degree.

Learn extra:
Toronto home sales and prices up, but new listings down in September: TRREB

Robust demand is coming from low rates of interest, increased general disposable incomes, restricted resale listings and shifting residence preferences, the federal government stated.

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The Ontario Actual Property Affiliation stated it wish to see the federal government take a number of steps to deal with the housing affordability disaster, together with ending exclusionary single-family zoning, doubling the land switch tax rebate, and making surplus authorities land obtainable for improvement.

NDP transit critic Jessica Bell stated the federal government’s proposal is simply meant to provide the impression they’re taking motion.

“It truly is the oldest trick within the e book to say, ‘We’re going to arrange a activity pressure to check an issue that we all know already exists and we additionally already know the options to,”’ she stated.

“They only don’t wish to implement them.”

The autumn financial assertion ought to have higher protections for renters and measures to clamp down on investor-led hypothesis comparable to increasing the non-resident hypothesis tax and introducing an annual hypothesis tax, Bell stated.

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Liberal Chief Steven Del Duca stated the federal government ought to already know what must be carried out to spice up provide.

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“The very last thing Ontario wants is one other panel on housing to delay the options we already know are wanted,” he stated in an announcement.

“It’s simply one other instance of Doug Ford’s dithering and delaying.”

Inexperienced Social gathering Chief Mike Schreiner stated such a activity pressure was proposed by his celebration in its housing plan launched earlier this 12 months.

“It’s essential that the duty pressure embody representatives from all stakeholders, not simply from the PCs’ developer donors,” he stated.

The Greens’ plan consists of constructing 100,000 reasonably priced houses, placing $100 million in seed funding for co-op housing, and elevating the non-resident hypothesis tax.

The federal government has additionally proposed in its fall financial assertion to reinforce a tax incentive program that encourages the rehabilitation of contaminated land with a view to spur extra improvement.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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