OHBA annual conference addresses Ontario’s Bill 108 housing legislation

John Bleasby August 13, 2019

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) will return to the Blue Mountain Village and Conference Centre in Collingwood, two hours north of Toronto, for its 2019 Conference and Awards of Distinction.


The three-day event, starting Sept. 22, will provide delegates with opportunities for collaborative learning with industry experts, exclusive networking opportunities, idea sharing forums and numerous entertaining activities.

The OHBA has given the conference the theme of “Building Growth Together” in recognition of recently-passed Ontario Bill 108, known as the Housing Supply Action Plan, or ‘More Homes, More Choice Act’. This new legislation addresses several areas that had been of concern to the residential building industry, not the least of which was the red tape surrounding approval of proposed housing developments.

“It can take over 10 years for everything to be in place before a home can be built, “said Kathryn Segal, OHBA communications manager. “This is not conducive when you have a huge population growth.” That population growth is projected to be 2.5 million over the next 12 years and will require one million new homes to be built in the Ontario.

Other areas of change in Bill 108 include restoration of official plan and zoning by-law appeal processes back to pre-2017 status, restrictions concerning official plan non-decisions and subdivision plans, shortening development application timelines, and new community benefit charges and parkland dedication contributions.

In a media release explaining the 2019 conference’s focus, OHBA CEO, Joe Vaccaro explained that the conference is organized to connect the association’s commitments with provincial government initiatives.

“We recognize that more homes means better affordability and that in order to meet the needs of new #homebelievers, to cut red tape and to get shovels in the ground the industry, municipalities and the provincial government need to work together.”

“The #homebelievers initiative was a conversation we were having prior to the election with both MPPs and candidates,” explained Segal. “The initial goal was to make civic and community leaders aware that the developer community was working on solutions to increase housing supply and affordability.”

The Bill 108 legislation now allows the focus of the 2019 conference to dovetail with new government initiatives.

“We’re calling this, ‘homebelievers 2.0,’ ” continued Segal.

“The whole point of the legislation is that there are provincial goals for housing that need to be met. The provincial government is now able to push forward with that in a way that they were not able to before. Our big push, therefore, is to work with the government on their policies. We will hold sessions at the conference concerning building safely, cheaper and faster to accommodate the anticipated needs. We’re also doing a big push on transit-oriented, higher density housing along transit lines, seeing that transit lines are going outside of the city to other communities.”

After an evening reception on Sept. 22, a full day of educational sessions follows the OHBA Annual Meeting of Members on the morning of Sept. 23. The luncheon keynote speaker — marketing guru Ron Tite — plus both pre and post-gala receptions, complete the day. The final day of the conference on Sept. 24 opens with a full day of business programming and entertaining activities, culminating with the prestigious OHBA Awards of Distinction Gala in the evening


Ontario Cutting Red Tape to Help Build Housing for Seniors in Simcoe County

Changes will help 600 seniors and create 200 jobs

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Barrie ― The Ontario government is cutting red tape in Simcoe County, helping 600 seniors access needed housing and services, while creating close to 200 full-time jobs.

Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, was joined by Andrea Khanjin,MPP for Barrie—Innisfil, to announce Ontario’s role in unlocking a property in Innisfil to build new homes for the community’s aging population.

Once complete, Tollendale Village 2, a planned retirement and long-term care facility, would be one of the largest seniors’ facilities in Simcoe County.

“The province doesn’t build housing, but we can cut red tape and create conditions that make it easier to build housing in areas that need it,” said Clark. “I am pleased to issue a zoning order to allow the Tollendale project to be built on Big Bay Point Road. This is part of our government’s people-first approach.”

“I am looking forward to what this announcement will mean for the residents in Barrie and Innisfil,” said Khanjin. “Tollendale has been working tirelessly to ensure that the aging senior population has a safe and affordable place to live. The work that this organization does on a day-to-day basis is a benefit to our community. We all know of a loved one requiring somewhere safe to live and this project is going to be providing the spaces they need.”

The planned seven-building complex is expected to include 388 retirement apartments, 160 long-term care beds and a 52-unit assisted living facility.

The new facility would allow residents to live in their apartment under a life lease, an innovative approach to housing that allows seniors to age in place, without having to own their home.

Quick Facts

  • Simcoe County Christian Senior Home Inc. also operates Tollendale Village in Barrie, which is home to more than 500 seniors.
  • More Homes, More Choice outlines the government’s plan to cut red tape and build more housing that meets the needs of people across Ontario. The plan encourages innovative approaches to home ownership – like life leases



What you need to know about Collingwood’s new development charge bylaw

The Town of Collingwood will be approving a new development charge bylaw later in August.

Here’s what you need to know.

What are development charges?

Development charges — or DCs — are levied against new construction. Those levies are put into specified reserve accounts to fund the construction of infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, recreational facilities) that will be needed at some point in the future to accommodate growth. For instance, increasing the number of residential units in a certain neighbourhood could require improvements to local roads to accommodate the increase in traffic. Some of the funding (but not all, because some improvements would be seen to benefit the existing population) for those future road improvements would come from development charges.

Specified reserve accounts?

DCs are broken down into components. For instance, on a levy for a single family home ($30,006), $7,461 is directed to the account that would fund future road-related projects.

In order to enact a DC bylaw, a municipality needs to undertake a study that forecasts what kind of infrastructure it needs in the future to accommodate growth over the next 10 years. It also takes into account life-cycle costs of infrastructure. To use our road example, Collingwood’s DC study identifies that road-related projects will require $81 million over the next decade, of which $43 million would be eligible to be funded through DCs.

What are the proposed rates?

The DC for a single family home will be $30,006; a multiple-unit dwelling, such as a townhouse, would be $22,632 per unit, an apartment would be $18,025 per unit, and the rate for bachelor or one-bedroom apartments would be $10,445.

The current rate for a single-family home is $24,572 — which would make for a 22 per cent hike.

Are there DCs for non-residential development?

The background study proposes a rate of $142.24 per square metre of commercial and industrial space — a 107 per cent increase from the current rate. However, noted Jaclyn Hall of Hemson Consulting, the town’s consultant on the DC background study, the current rate, indexed to 2019 dollar figures, would be $145.05.

Why the big increases?

As Hall noted in her presentation, construction and land costs have outpaced inflation. Municipalities are also doing a better job at asset management.

Council also has the option to implement lower rates or discount certain classes.

Where does Bill 108 fit in?

The Province of Ontario enacted Bill 108 in June. This is an omnibus bill that affects 13 different pieces of legislation, including the Development Charges Act.

Under the act, a municipality is required to pass a community benefit bylaw to collect levies for services such as libraries, parks and other recreational facilities.

After Jan. 1, 2021, only roads, water and other “hard” services will be eligible for development charge funding.

What are the next steps?

Anyone who wants to give their opinion can drop a line to the town’s deputy director of financial planning and policy development, Dennis Sloan, at dsloan@collingwood.ca, by Aug. 2.

A new development charge bylaw is expected to be approved by council on Aug. 26.

by Ian Adams

Ian Adams is a reporter for Simcoe.com, covering community news and events throughout south Georgian Bay, and municipal councils in Collingwood and Wasaga Beach.Email: iadams@simcoe.com

Barrie’s first-time homebuyers get help from new federal incentive

Initiative reduces monthly mortgage payments without increasing down payment amounts


Got the income but lack the savings necessary to purchase your first home?

The federal government is introducing the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program in an attempt to help middle-income families take steps toward purchasing property. The initiative, which launches Sept. 2, reduces monthly mortgage payments without increasing down payment amounts. First-time homebuyers who have the minimum down payment for an ensured mortgage can apply to finance a portion of their purchase through a form of shared equity with the federal government.

It is open to households with an income of up to $120,000. 
This program applies to new or existing homes, parliamentary secretary to the minister of families, children and social development Adam Vaughan said. 

“It is designed to benefit those who need more assistance with housing costs,” he said July 25 during an announcement at a more than 100-unit build on Essa Road in Barrie. “Thanks to mortgage payments that are more affordable, many families will have hundreds of dollars more each month in their pockets — money to spend on things like healthy food, sports for their kids or even save for the future. We have to provide a program that’s flexible, but we want to make sure we continue to build on one of our economic drivers, the new home builders.”

Under the program, a family that purchases a home between $200,000 and $500,000 in value can save between $1,372 and $3,430 in mortgage payments each year. The intention is to help families better manage household debt without lowering home values, Vaughan said.

The program is expected to cost the government $1.25 billion over three years, but 100,000 Canadian families could be eligible over the first 12 months, he said.

Sean Mason Homes owner Sean Mason said the federal plan will provide greater certainty for developers.

He estimates about 75 per cent of the homes at his Essa build would have qualified for the program.

“This is very important,” he said. “As lending standards have tightened, (it’s harder) to get the financing on the entire project.”

No ongoing repayment is required; buyers must cover the loan after 25 years, or if they sell the property.

The first closing under the program is expected to take place Nov. 1. 

For more, visit placetocallhome.ca.

by Chris Simon

Chris Simon is a journalist with the Barrie Advance. He can be reached at chris.simon@simcoe.com 


Ontario Launches Consultation on Building More Homes that People Need and Can Afford

Province Seeks Feedback on Proposed Changes to Provincial Policy Statement 

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The Ontario Government is cutting red tape that is slowing down the process of building more homes that people need and can afford.

As part of the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, the government is consulting on proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) — which sets out direction for land use planning in the province.

“Seniors are looking to down-size and young families don’t see a path to homeownership. That’s why we are proposing changes to provincial policies that would spur and speed up the construction of more and different types of housing that can meet the needs of people in different stages of life,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “I encourage Ontarians to provide their feedback directly to my ministry during this 90-day consultation period.”

The proposed changes to the PPS would continue to maintain protections for health and safety, the environment – including the Greenbelt – and support the province’s vibrant agricultural sector.

Quick Facts

  • The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) establishes province-wide direction on land use planning matters that guide municipal decision-making.
  • The proposed changes aim to align with A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
  • Currently, it can take years of paperwork before a shovel ever breaks ground on a new housing or business project. Red tape and delays make it hard to get housing to market quickly and to build the right mix of housing in the right locations.

Background Information