Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has confirmed to CBC Toronto that housing legislation will be introduced Tuesday, immediately following Monday’s municipal election.
The confirmation follows a Toronto Star report about plans for new “override” municipal zoning laws to allow more “middle missing” housing to be built across Ontario. The changes, the Star reports citing officials, will not permit housing development on the Greenbelt.
Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark will table sweeping new legislation including eliminating development charges for homeowners who want to add rental apartments to existing homes.
“We’ll create an opportunity for people to build that second or third unit in their home without … the lengthy (planning approval) process and, in some cases, development charges that go with it,” the minister told the Toronto Star.
The government is amending the Building Code to permit such units in existing houses as long as the same square footage is retained.
Also, the government will scrap development charges on “inclusionary zoning” projects to encourage more affordable housing.
Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly announced his government’s commitment to build 1.5 million new homes across Ontario over the next 10 years, as included in recommendations from the provincial housing task force report.
Recommendations in the report focused on five themes:
- More housing density across the province
- End exclusionary municipal rules that block or delay new housing
- Depoliticize the housing approvals process
- Prevent abuse of the housing appeals system
- Financial support to municipalities that build more housing
“We propose an ambitious but achievable target: 1.5 million new homes built in the next ten years,” Jake Lawrence, chair, Housing Affordability Task Force, wrote in a letter to the minister of municipal affairs and housing. “The way housing is approved and built was designed for a different era when the province was less constrained by space and had fewer people, but it no longer meets the needs of Ontarians.
“The balance has swung too far in favour of lengthy consultations, bureaucratic red tape, and costly appeals. It is too easy to oppose new housing and too costly to build. We are in a housing crisis and that demands immediate and sweeping reforms.”