Ford government ‘has vision’ to build homes, protect environment: developer

One-size-fits-all approach in face of rapid growth doesn’t work, writes Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association

The arrival on Jan. 1, 2019 of a regulation mandating sprinklers in care facilities suggests the province is moving in the right direction, said veteran fire chief Ralph Dominelli.

Simply put, taking a one-size-fits-all provincial approach to local community planning just doesn’t work.

Listening and understanding this, the Ontario government, through Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, released its Housing Supply Action Plan on May 2, along with updates to the Growth Plan. This government has vision and a goal to see more homes built and more choice in the type of homes built for Ontarians.

Our industry has long said we need to build more homes to support the forecast in population and employment over the next 20 years. Today, over nine million people live in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and by 2041, a projected 13.5 million will call this region home, along with almost two million more jobs. This is real growth that we need to plan for if we ever want to improve affordability for homebuyers.

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The plan will guide the future type and location of new housing supply across Ontario. It will need to be supported by investment in transit and complemented by municipal plans.

Despite what some may say, this plan will continue to protect the Greenbelt along with environmentally-significance features.

The plan will also immediately get to work to unlock the 100,000 housing units stuck in the appeals backlog and that means we can get shovels in the ground for homebuyers across the province.

This is a comprehensive plan that aligns many of the provincial ministries that work to bring new housing to our communities. Doing this will reduce red tape and streamline the approvals process, which will make costs and timelines more predictable and get more homes built and renovated across Ontario.

The Housing Supply Action Plan is a transformative plan that will get Ontario out of the never-ending cycle of planning and into building more homes and providing more choice to homebuyers across Ontario.

— Joe Vaccaro is CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association