RESCON hosting Housing Supply Summit March 3

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Reforms suggested in the Housing Affordability Task Force report could bring Ontario closer to producing the number of new homes that are needed but, according to the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON).

The task force report and other issues affecting the supply of housing in the province will be discussed during panel discussions at a free virtual summit tomorrow (March 3) hosted by RESCON. The event, called Housing Supply Summit: Solutions to Build More Homes, runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“The report addresses the shortage by laying out sweeping reforms to end exclusionary zoning and increase density in urban and suburban areas and legislating timelines for development approvals,” says RESCON president Richard Lyall.

“The needed target of building 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years is possible if all 55 recommendations in the task force report are implemented.”

RESCON participated in virtual consultations by the province and feedback on the issue is reflected in the report and in a letter sent to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark..

Residential construction plays a large part in the province’s economy and provides much-needed essential housing to Ontario families. Our ability to attract talent and business investment depends on adequate and affordable housing so we are eager to see the recommendations being put into action.

Demand has far outpaced supply and resulted in higher prices for housing. With immigration targets well above 400,000 for the next several years, and Ontario’s population expected to increase by 2.27 million people over the next decade, the supply of new housing is not keeping pace.

RESCON is encouraged that the task force has recommended that the province and municipal governments start to address the problem by using Ministry of Finance population projections and accurate data collection by housing type and location and supports digitization and e-permitting being made a priority.

“Ontario needs a uniform, streamlined and digitized e-permitting system in place for use by all of Ontario’s municipalities, provincial ministries, conservation authorities and all approval and law agencies as it will speed-up development approvals and result in homes getting built faster,” states Lyall. “The One Ontario initiative has the backing of more than 30 organizations and can provide a path forward.”

The cost of buying a new home in Ontario has nearly tripled in the past decade. In Toronto, for example, the cost of the average dwelling relative to income is by far the worst amongst G7 countries, “in large part because the approvals process is too cumbersome and stymies new development,” according to a RESCON news release.


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