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Ontario’s More Homes for Everyone Plan Receives Royal Assent

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Ontario has received royal assent for legislation to support the government’s More Homes for Everyone plan. 

The plan, which delivers both near-term and long-term commitments to build more homes faster to bring home ownership within reach for all Ontario families, was first introduced by the province on March 30. Essentially, it is designed to reduce the red tape and barriers that have long characterized new housing approvals. 

The More Homes for Everyone plan outlines the next suite of actions to address Ontario’s housing crisis, such as protecting homebuyers from unethical development practices and accelerating development timelines to get more homes built faster. The plan is built on recommendations from the Housing Affordability Task Force and the first-ever Ontario-Municipal Housing Summit, as well as input from municipalities and the public. 

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The More Homes for Everyone plan includes:

  • Working with municipalities to identify and enhance measures that will crack down on land speculation and protect home buyers. This is in response to feedback the province solicited from municipalities regarding projects that are approved by the municipality, but unbuilt by the developer.
  • Strengthening consumer protections for purchasers of new homes by doubling fines and extending building license suspensions to address unethical conduct by developers, while ensuring penalties for cancelled projects are aligned with the impact on homebuyers. The government will also enable Tarion to extend warranties on unfinished items in a new home.
  • Supporting municipalities with resources, tools, and standards to provide timely review and adjudication processes by both extending legislated timelines for decisions while focusing the decision-making process. This builds on the province’s investment of up to $350M through the Streamline Development Approvals Fund, Municipal Modernization Program, and Audit and Accountability Fund to help municipalities implement efficiencies, including in their planning and development approval processes.
  • Creating a new tool specifically designed to accelerate planning processes for municipalities. The Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator will help municipalities expedite approvals for housing and community infrastructure, like hospitals and community centres, with clear requirements for both consultation and public notice.

READ: New Housing Legislation Falls Short of Province’s Own Task Force Proposal, Critics Say

“With the passage of the More Homes for Everyone Act, our government is taking the next step in our long-term plan to deliver on the Housing Affordability Task Force’s report, and help more Ontarians realize the dream of home ownership,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a Province-issued press release. “But there is still more work to be done. As we continue to collaborate with our municipal and industry partners, our government commits to a housing supply action plan every year over four years to deliver gentle density and multi-generational homes in communities across our province.”

As part of the More Homes For Everyone plan, Ontario increased and expanded the Non-Resident Speculation Tax, is making it easier to build more community housing by making better use of provincially owned lands including providing surplus lands in Vaughan for non-profit housing, and is strengthening the community housing system for residents and workers by establishing a new regulatory framework under the Community Housing Renewal Strategy and also with historic investments through the nearly $1.2B Social Services Relief Fund and $464M Homelessness Prevention Program.

As Ontario’s population and economy continue to grow, any measure to increase the supply of new homes is a welcome one in the eyes of many. However, getting more homes built faster is just the start when it comes to addressing the province’s housing woes.

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