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Ontario's plan to build explained by MPP Crawford

Bill 23, New Amendments and Development Charges
Stephen Crawford | Stephen Crawford
Stephen Crawford | Stephen Crawford

Ontario is in a housing crisis, and our government is acting decisively to fix it. We know the pace of housing construction in Ontario is not keeping up with demand. 

Our province is expected to grow by more than two million people by 2031, and approximately 1.5 million of these new residents will live in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region. The federal government has also recently announced updated immigration targets of half a million a year, which will put even more pressure on our housing stock. There is an urgent need to build homes quickly. 

Now that our proposal is law, it will result in the construction of a minimum of 50,000 new homes and an overall expansion of the Greenbelt by approximately 2,000 acres. This is a substantial step toward our goal of building 1.5 million homes in the next 10 years.

Our approach will expand the Greenbelt and enhance protection for environmentally sensitive land while taking a major step toward resolving our housing supply crisis.  

Our government is taking action to end this unfair situation and get more homes built faster by cutting development fees as follows:

  • Removed entirely for affordable and not-for-profit housing, as well as inclusionary zoning units
  • Reduced by 25 per cent for purpose-built rentals
  • Municipalities also have to spend or allocate at least 60 per cent of their development charge reserves each year

The truth is only about one-third of one percent of the Greenbelt will be opened up for housing, with more land being added. There are more than two million acres in the Greenbelt, and our government is proposing to take 7,400 acres, or less than one-third of one percent of the land total, for development while adding 9,400 acres. The government has identified properties within the Greenbelt as candidate sites for future or near-term housing development. Fifteen sites were identified after considering the following criteria:  

  • greater than 1:1 offset must be achieved to ensure overall Greenbelt expansion 
  • affected areas must have the potential for homes to be built soon 
  • affected areas must be adjacent to the existing Greenbelt boundaries  
  • affected areas must be adjacent to an existing urban area 
  • affected areas must be on or near readily serviceable land, with local infrastructure upgrades needed to service the projects to be funded entirely by the proponents 

Quotes of support from the community 

This bill is a bold thrust to address the housing needs of the missing middle and innovative construction of supportive housing for the even more dire needs of the homeless population.” Mwarigha, VP Housing and Homelessness, WoodGreen Community Services

“The commitment to waive development charges for all affordable housing developments will have a tangible and positive impact on the ability to develop new, affordable co-op homes in Ontario. We also look forward to engaging with the Province in order to reduce the property tax burden on affordable housing providers, including co-ops.” Simone Swail, Manager, Government Relations, Co-operative Housing Federation Of Canada (CHF Canada)

“The proposed reduction in development costs and fees for affordable and non-profit housing will directly impact our costs, and make it easier to allocate resources where they are needed most.” Jeff Neven, CEO, Indwell

“The province’s proposal to exempt affordable housing from development charges, parkland dedication and CBCs will provide certainty to all affordable housing providers,” Ene Underwood, CEO of Habitat for Humanity GTA. 

In summary, our government is committed to affordable housing and the greenbelt. We will stand for Ontarians’ needs to protect our future generations and the environment. We have set out to expand the greenbelt and our housing supply.