Province should create fund to offset impact of Bill 23: Peel Region

Ontario construction News staff writer

Peel Region is asking the province to implement a municipal fund to compensate the region and local municipalities for the impacts of the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022  on growth funding revenues and expenditures.

Regional Council endorsed the request and several other recommendations presented in the Bill 23 “More Homes Built Faster Act” and Implications for the Region of Peel report.

Officials argue that Bill 23 will “further constrain” Peel Region’s ability to collect DCs to pay for growth. An analysis estimates that Peel’s revenue shortfall could reach$2 billion over the next 10 years.

Development charges are used for growth infrastructure, including pipes, roads in new developments, affordable housing projects and building new paramedic facilities.

Without provincial funding to cover anticipated DC reductions, Peel Region is warning about the following impacts:

  • Delaying the construction of infrastructure needed for land servicing and housing development
  • Not being able to fund debt that was required to fund future growth with the expectation DCs would repay that debt
  • Forcing either significant increases to property taxes and utility rates or reducing service levelsBill 23 will not make housing more affordable for Peel residents, and, in fact, will make it more difficult for Peel Region to respond to the ongoing housing affordability crisis.

Also, the removal of housing services as an eligible service from the Development Charges Act, 1997, there will be an estimated shortfall of $200 million, which will put capital projects related to affordable housing, supportive housing and shelters at risk of delay or not proceeding. This includes a significant number of Peel’s Housing master plan projects, representing approximately 943 units, at risk.

Legislative changes in Bill 23 will also remove planning authority from Peel Region, change Conservation Authority roles and responsibilities and limit appeal rights to Ontario Land Tribunal. These changes, in particular the removal of Peel Region’s planning responsibilities, will impact the coordination of infrastructure delivery in Peel, which may have costly unintended consequences from both a planning and financial perspective.

“These radical changes made without consultations will create problems for Peel Region and our local municipalities,” Peel Region CAO Janice Baker said in a statement “The impacts of this legislation will result in a significant loss of revenue and lead to our diminishing fiscal sustainability unless made whole by the province.”


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