Climate change is reshaping the way we think about housing policy.
And the real estate sector has a role to play when it comes to assessing the climate crisis. As catastrophic environmental events like flash floods and forest fires are becoming a regular occurrence, there is no denying that climate change poses a significant threat to our health, communities and to affordable home ownership.
To outline our policy position, OREA worked with the StrategyCorp. Institute of Public Policy and Economy to release our latest report titled Accelerating Ontario’s Green Future: New Approaches to Housing and Climate Change. Our recommendations will create the conditions for Ontario to reduce emissions, mitigate the impact of climate change on homeowners, and support societal uptake of measures that will encourage the overall “greening” of the housing sector. These recommendations include:
- Creating a new green home renovation tax credit that builds off the success of the federal subsidy program to encourage energy-efficient upgrades to things like insulation, furnaces and drafty windows and doors. Energy-efficient buildings and homes experience higher resale values and lower utility bills, which will result in improved affordability for Ontario’s current and aspiring homeowners.
- Introducing On-Bill Financing (OBF) for building envelope improvements by partnering with energy sector stakeholders to allow Ontarians to bypass the upfront costs that accompany a major renovation and allowing the costs of green retrofits to be rolled into monthly utility bill payments, resulting in lower household energy bills.
- Developing new flood mapping systems for home flood protection to allow Ontarians and REALTORS® to make better-informed decisions when buying or selling a home. OREA is encouraging the government to develop a user-friendly system to identify the risk of flooding to properties across the province, filling in gaps in existing flood mapping.
This report highlights the immediate need for government intervention when it comes to climate policy and emission reductions. OREA is committed to ensuring that Ontarians from the impact of climate change and that Ontario’s housing stock and homeowners are well prepared for the future, while minimizing the province’s overall GHG emissions to align with Canada’s climate commitments.
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