With the Ford government issuing its throne speech today, the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the West End Home Builders’ Association (WE HBA) released their top policy recommendations in a five-point plan to address the housing crisis. These priorities are based on the February 2022 recommendations of the Housing Affordability Task Force (HATF).
Said Luca Bucci, CEO of the OHBA. “Ontario needs to build at least 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years to restore affordable housing prices. The five points that the industry is releasing present a bold vision on how to get more housing built quickly, so that every Ontarian can afford a place to call home. We call on the provincial government to continue to play a strong leadership role in defining this change and to work with our industry to implement these recommendations.”
The industry release goes on to note that there is no silver bullet solution to address the shortage of housing supply and the affordability challenges that come with it. Consequently, OHBA and WE HBA are recommending a suite of changes to accelerate the delivery of new homes, add supply and bring balance to the market. These recommendations include:
- Making homes more affordable by speeding up approval times and eliminating red tape. Each month of delay in approvals adds thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home.
- Adding certainty to the cost of building a new home by addressing out-of-control development fees. Already, fees and taxes from all levels of government account for up to 25% of the cost of a new home.
- Making new lands available to build new housing and support future growth, as home supply and costs are highly dependent on land availability.
- Laying the infrastructure groundwork for future growth by ensuring servicing and transportation infrastructure are prioritized.
- Taking the politics out of planning to ensure that local decision making does not undermine the provision of new housing.
Said Mike Collins-Williams, CEO of the West End Home Builders’ Association. “Our industry’s five- point plan outlines the changes necessary to ensure that Hamiltonians and Burlington residents will actually have the opportunity to be able to afford to live here rather than driving until they qualify in another community.”