May 14, 2024

OREA Statement on City of Ottawa Proposed Hike on Development Charges

Picture a young family working hard and doing everything right to save their money so they can finally afford to buy a home, only to be told that they need to pony up tens of thousands more dollars. A new proposal from Ottawa City Council will do just that, putting homeownership further out of reach for thousands of Ontarians in the National Capital Region.

OREA President

“Picture a young family working hard and doing everything right to save their money so they can finally afford to buy a home, only to be told that they need to pony up tens of thousands more dollars. A new proposal from Ottawa City Council will do just that, putting homeownership further out of reach for thousands of Ontarians in the National Capital Region.

Ottawa City Council is proposing to hike fees that they charge to developers building new homes. This will have a disastrous impact on new housing supply and increase the cost of new homes. By way of background, last week the City of Ottawa’s Planning and Housing Committee proposed increasing development charges, which are collected by municipalities to pay for infrastructure and connect new housing to municipal services like roads, water, and wastewater.

The potential impact that these increases will have on housing supply has not gone unnoticed by the federal housing minister, housing industry experts, and homebuilders. The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and the province's nearly 100,000 REALTORS® join our partners and stakeholders in sharing our concern that these fees will only worsen the housing affordability crisis. Development charges remain an onerous aspect of building new homes in Ontario, both hindering new construction and increasing the price tag on a new home by up to $135,000, which is ultimately passed down to the buyer.

While housing-enabling infrastructure is crucial, municipalities should pursue other avenues to increase revenue and build new infrastructure. Both the federal and provincial governments have offered new funding opportunities for municipalities that do not include passing costs down to consumers, including the Ford Government’s Building Faster Fund and the Trudeau Government’s recently announced Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Ontario REALTORS®, the Ottawa Real Estate Board, and our partners in the Ottawa region are calling on Ottawa City Council to strike down the proposed hike on development charges and instead find solutions that will encourage more home construction and actually bring affordability closer to home. These solutions include ending exclusionary zoning city-wide (instead of just in certain areas) so more homes can be built; allowing water and wastewater services to be provided by municipal services corporations; intensifying density along transit lines; and supporting commercial to residential conversions.”

- Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association

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For more information contact

Ontario Real Estate Association

Jean-Adrien Delicano

Manager, Media Relations

JeanAdrienD@orea.com

416-445-9910 ext. 246

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