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August 10, 2022

Statement on the Ontario Government’s newly introduced Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act

“Ontario’s REALTORS® have continued to call for more action to create a new generation of homeowners by increasing housing supply and building more homes people can afford. The Ford Government’s newly introduced Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act is critical and overdue step towards solving the housing affordability and supply crisis.

For too long, a small but vocal group of Ontario residents known as ‘NIMBYs’ have dominated municipal housing conversations, putting their own self-interest ahead of affordable homes for millennials, new Canadians, and those who don’t come from wealthy families, particularly in large cities like Toronto and Ottawa.

Limited supply caused by decades of underbuilding, knee-jerk NIMBYism, and changing demographics have resulted in years of dwindling supply and increasing home prices across the province.

The Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act will help cut red tape and speed up the local planning process by giving municipal leaders new tools and powers to help reduce timelines for development, standardize processes and address local barriers to increasing housing supply.

This ‘strong Mayor’ system would allow for the adjustment of development plans to create gentle density as needed, ensuring municipalities are not introducing policy or bylaw changes that directly contravene or work against provincial priorities – including the commitment to build 1.5 million homes over the next decade. Further changes that could help speed new housing supply include Mayoral responsibility for budgets, the ability to appoint a CAO, and the ability to hire and replace department heads, including the Chief Planner.

While today’s new legislation is a good step towards giving Mayors a greater role in accelerating housing supply and cutting red tape and runaround, Ontario’s REALTORS® would like to see these powers expanded to other urban areas.

More can still be done to address the existing housing affordability crisis, including ending exclusionary zoning in Ontario’s highest-demand urban neighborhoods, which would allow for the building of duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes on lots traditionally zoned for single-family housing.”

- Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association


For more information, please contact:

Lauren Souch

Manager, Media Relations and Communications, OREA

LaurenS@orea.com

647-825-5622


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