REALTORS® urge bold action in aftermath of Housing Summit
TORONTO, ON - Ontario is one of the most unaffordable jurisdictions in the world for housing, and young families are losing hope that they’ll ever be able to afford the Canadian dream of home ownership. As the Ontario Housing Summit concludes, REALTORS® are calling on all levels of government to take immediate bold action to make housing more affordable for everyone.
“We are in the middle of a historic housing affordability crisis in Ontario,” said David Oikle, Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) President. “The More Homes, More Choice Act got us on the right path but more work needs to be done. The Housing Summit was a good idea to ensure municipalities are not only given the tools to increase supply and choice, but also held accountable to use those tools. The future of the Canadian dream of home ownership in our Province depends on it.”
With the provincial election less than five months away, it’s clear that there is widespread demand for government action to address housing affordability. A new poll released today by Abacus Data shows that Ontarians view high home prices and the rising cost of living as top issues facing the province. The rising cost of living (50%) and housing affordability (39%) are top-of-mind for Ontarians early on in the lead up to the June election.
“Voters are frustrated. They feel let down that policy makers haven’t solved the housing affordability crisis,” said Matthew Thornton, Vice President of Public Affairs & Communications at OREA. “We expect it to be a major issue in the upcoming election, and whichever political party can deliver the best plan to save the Canadian dream of home ownership will reap the benefits.”
The provincial government should also look at supports for first-time home buyers and innovative housing solutions to help get more people into the market. This includes increasing first-time home buyer land transfer tax rebates and allowing alternatives to traditional home ownership, such as rent-to-own and shared equity models.
“Increasing housing supply is the only path forward. Demand side measures, like new taxes or bans on foreign buyers are a distraction,” said Oikle. “Ontario needs to learn from other jurisdictions like New Zealand and take bold action, like ending exclusionary zoning in large cities. Fixing our unfair zoning rules will add thousands of missing middle housing units to our supply mix.”