Ontario Construction News staff writer
The provincial government’s fall economic statement focus on building housing supply is good news, according to the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON).
“We are in a housing supply crisis, so it is absolutely critical that we pull out all the stops to build more housing across the province,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall. “We are in desperate need of all types of housing and anything that can be done to move the needle or bolster infrastructure that will support the construction of new homes across the province is certainly positive news.”
In the fall economic statement delivered on Thursday, Finance Minister Peter Bethlanfalvy confirmed the pan to removing the eight-per-cent HST on qualifying purpose-built rental housing. For years, RESCON has been calling on the feds to exempt or rebate the collection of
Skills Ontario CEO Ian Howcroft says a $5.4 million investment into the Skills Ontario Trades & Tech Truck Program will go towards the creation of three mobile learning units which will accommodate 150,000 students per year. The investment was made possible through the Skills Development Fund Training Stream.
The government also announced $160 million for a fourth round of investments of employment training programs for people on social assistance.
“Skills Ontario supports and acknowledges the significant investment in supporting youth entering careers in the skilled trades and technologies by the Ontario Government and thank them, along with the Skills Development Fund, for investing $5.4 million into skilled trades education through the creation of three mobile learning units for our Trades & Tech Truck program,” Howcroft said.
The Fall Economic Statement released by the Ministry of Finance includes an additional $3 billion into a new Ontario infrastructure Bank to seek investment into critical public infrastructure projects like long-term care homes, affordable housing and energy projects, and $224 million investment in the Capital Stream to build more brick-and-mortar training centres that will provide more people with opportunities to learn new skills and advance their careers.
The government also announced $200 million will be invested over three years in a house-enabling water systems fund. The fund will unlock opportunities by ensuring that new water infrastructure is built for new housing. This is an important step to meet the goal of building 1.5 million homes.
A new Ontario Infrastructure Bank that will be created and managed by an arms-length board will create opportunities for public-sector pension plans and other investors to put money into large-scale public infrastructure projects across the province, including affordable housing.
“Too many young people are leaving Ontario to pursue their careers elsewhere because of the housing affordability and supply crisis,” adds Lyall. “More than 170,000 homes must be built each year over the next decade to restore housing affordability in Ontario. It is critical that governments continue to take action to remedy the problem. Failure is no longer an option.”