TORONTO, April 11, 2018 /CNW/ - With last minute changes to the inclusionary zoning regulations under the Promoting Affordable Housing Act, the Province is shirking its responsibilities by giving too much authority to municipalities and undermining the partnership balance required to deliver government-mandated affordable housing in Ontario.
"We need a partnership, and today we just got more housing politics. It is disappointing and frustrating to see the provincial government walk away from their own partnership model and leave the only real housing providers to negotiate with municipalities," said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of OHBA. "Leaving housing providers to negotiate how to provide government-mandated affordable housing with municipalities will only make things more political and fuel more NIMBY-motivated actions and councillors. Adding housing supply and choice to communities across Ontario just got more political when what we need is government leadership and partnership to get more homes to the market," said Vaccaro.
The unfortunate changes to the proposed regulations on the eve of a provincial election provides no policy framework to municipalities in implementing inclusionary zoning. Without the partnership framework, the key issues that determine if a housing development is financially viable – the maximum number of affordable units, the affordability level of the units, and the necessary planning and financial tools to support the creating of these units – are left to municipalities to individually determine.
"Everyone knows that there is no such thing as free housing – this policy walks away from that fact and pretends that magically new affordable units will simply 'appear.' Anyone who says we can provide these units without government support is willfully ignoring how this works in other jurisdictions. What they are really doing is telling home buyers to cover the bill by adding it onto the price of their home," remarked Vaccaro.
The solution to create government-mandated affordable housing is for the all governments to start building with the billions they have collected through housing taxes. The provincial government collect over 3 billion dollars in land transfer taxes alone last year and municipal governments have land. Between the two governments, they have the money to build; they have the land to build; they should start building.
BILD and OHBA members are experts in community planning but the province has just given municipalities an unchecked right to arbitrarily dismiss much needed housing. This will exacerbate the housing supply problem in the GTA and ultimately lower our economic competitiveness as a region, making it more difficult to attract top companies like Amazon and others to the GTA.
"The building industry makes the investment to build communities," said David Wilkes, President and CEO of BILD. "The province's last minute changes put an end to partnership. As providers of all the housing in GTA, it is highly unlikely this policy is going to bring about change to the record high unaffordability and housing supply constraints that exist in the GTA. At the very minimum a provincial appeal mechanism to LPAT should be included to mitigate the politics from the planning process," he added.
The building industry already must contend with red tape and excessive bureaucracy that slows new development, impacting the supply of new homes and driving up prices. Under these new additional regulations the province is not making housing a priority, it is simply adding more barriers while taking no responsibility.
With more than 1,500 members, BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. BILD is proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders' Associations.
The Ontario Home Builders' Association is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario representing 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations across the province. The industry contributes over $56 billion dollars to Ontario's economy, employing more than 336,000 people across the province.
SOURCE Building Industry and Land Development Association
For further information: or to schedule an interview: OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro, firstname.lastname@example.org, (647) 255-3875; BILD Communications and Marketing Manager John Provenzano, email@example.com, (416) 617-7994