Tape hasnít changed on housing ideas
October 16, 2018
Ontario’s housing market has changed dramatically over the past few decades but when the top residential lobby groups met to suggest how to improve it, the main advice proved the same as 20, even 30 years ago.
A Housing Summit held October 10 in Toronto included leaders from the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO). The agenda was to present “bold policy prescriptions” to help young Canadians get their hands on the keys to their first home.
The key suggestions were to speed up the planning process, build more homes and increase density around urban transit stations, give a tax break to first-time buyers, and allow higher annual rent increases. The only remotely new idea was to bring back the Ontario Municipal Board, which was scrapped by the former provincial government because it was believed to be too cosy with developers.
“Keeping the dream of home ownership alive in Ontario requires bold policies and action from the provincial government. First and foremost, to get more new homes in the marketplace, the building approvals process must be streamlined and zoning updated to allow for more homes in the right places. The best and fastest way to give Ontario’s first-time home buyers a break is to eliminate the punishing land transfer tax for first-time buyers,” said Tim Hudak, CEO of the OREA.
All valid suggestions, but Home BUILDER has to wonder if there are any new ideas to make it easier for young families to afford their first home.