Ontario's Rental Housing Industry Supports Portable Housing Benefit; Seeks Partnership and Consultation for a Balanced Approach to Framework and What Comes Next

TORONTO, March 15, 2016 /CNW/ - The Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) welcomes the invitation from the Ontario government to join them at the table as a partner in improving rental housing affordability and availability across the province.  The private sector rental housing industry looks forward to the opportunity to share the benefit of our experience in successfully delivering quality rental housing to Ontarians at all income levels.

The province's Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, released yesterday, identifies new initiatives intended to stimulate the development of new affordable rental housing and includes recommendations previously put forward by FRPO to do just that.  We believe the opportunity exists for governments and the private sector to work together to facilitate construction of  new and affordable rental housing stock in Ontario.  The lack of specific details on what would be in future legislation suggests the government's openness to evaluating the available evidence to determine the best way forward for those who live in rental housing, and those who provide it.  We welcome that.

FRPO is supportive of the government's introduction of a portable housing benefit that would allow all low-income families and individuals to find affordable housing options that suit their needs. FRPO members know a housing benefit will go a long way to help provide those in need with a safe and stable place to call home. We believe this is the most effective and cost-efficient way to provide families with the housing they can afford.

As part of the announcement, the government outlined its intention to consult on the introduction of Inclusionary Zoning as an addition to the municipal legislative toolbox.  FRPO appreciates the government's commitment to engaging with the rental housing industry in extensive consultation on this and other components of today's announcement.  At minimum, we believe that as new legislation is being contemplated, that there also should be an evaluation of the effectiveness of the existing tools available to municipalities and eliminate or modify those ones deemed ineffective or unnecessary.

"As we heard from the Minister, the success of this initiative requires the private sector to be a partner," said Scott Andison, President and CEO, FRPO. "Our members continue to believe that if the Ontario government sets the proper framework and supportive business environment, the private sector rental housing industry can better respond to the changing needs of rental housing consumers.  If we can all agree on the common objective of providing housing that families can afford then our collective experience and know how will allow us to deliver on this goal."

In June, 2015, FRPO put forward a comprehensive series of no-cost and low-cost proposals to the government that would help to lower the cost of development of new rental housing in Ontario, keeping rents low for tenants, and helping to reduce government waiting lists for affordable housing. The proposals included providing portable housing benefits to families who need help in closing the gap between what they can afford and the cost of housing. They also included lowering development charges and planning fees for new rental housing, making changes to multi-residential property tax assessments, and maintaining effective development policies.

For details on FRPO's comprehensive white paper on affordable housing: visit Removing Barriers to Building New Rental Housing in Ontario.

About FRPO

The Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) is the province's leading advocate for quality rental housing. FRPO represents over 2,200 rental housing providers who supply and manage homes for over 350,000 tenant households across Ontario.

SOURCE Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario

For further information: Scott Andison, President and CEO, Phone: 416-385-1100 ext.20, Email: sandison@frpo.org; Kristina Lauesen, Vice President, Government & Industry Relations, Phone: 416-385-1100 ext. 21, Email: klauesen@frpo.org

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http://www.frpo.org

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Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario

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