How will Ontario's newly passed housing legislation help the market?

RESCON highlights the significant steps that Bill 23 introduces

How will Ontario's newly passed housing legislation help the market?

The newly passed More Homes Built Faster Act of 2022 is vital in addressing bureaucratic bloat and prohibitive development costs that are ultimately shouldered by end consumers, according to the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON).

“We are in the middle of an unprecedented housing crisis, and it is critical that we take immediate action to speed up construction of new homes and remove obstacles to residential development,” said Richard Lyall, president of RESCON.

Lyall specifically pointed at one provision as a significant step in ensuring a better supply pipeline.

“Removing development charges for affordable and non-profit housing, one of the items in the legislation, is the right thing to do as it will spur new residential construction,” Lyall said. “These hefty fees are out of control and can result in a project being shelved. Municipalities have become dependent on them, and an alternative must be found.”

Read more: What would it take to solve Canada’s ongoing housing affordability crisis?

Over the past 13 years, development charges in the Greater Toronto area have increased by more than 600%. Currently, they represent an additional $116,900 to the cost of a new home, according to provincial data.

“Homeownership keeps moving further out of reach of Ontarians because of unjustified fees that add tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new home and a development approvals process that stymies construction of new housing,” Lyall said. “Bill 23 removes some of the charges and barriers to building.”

The Act’s reduction in fees for purpose-built rentals and limit on future fee increases will also prove of great assistance to improving the province’s overall supply, Lyall added.

“To reach the target of building 1.5 million new homes over the next decade in Ontario, which was recommended by a Housing Affordability Task Force, we must double our efforts, cut red tape, digitize the approvals process and embrace the reforms in Bill 23,” he said.