On April 6, the Hon. Steve Clark, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, unveiled the latest Housing Supply Action Plan. This iteration (the legislation is titled the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act) looks to strengthen protections for homebuyers, support tenants and – what will likely have the biggest impact – change the rules around land-use planning. The Ford government continues its focus on addressing the housing crisis, with an explicit commitment to building 1.5 million new homes by 2031. One of the Ford government’s election commitments was to regularly provide updates on housing supply progress and a new Housing Supply Action Plan. Last week’s announcement follows the 2019 More Homes, More Choice, as well as More Homes for Everyone from Spring 2022 and More Homes Built Faster from Fall 2022.
Changes to Land-Use Planning Rules
The most consequential element of this Housing Supply Action Plan is the proposal to combine the two current land-use planning documents – the Provincial Policy Statement (which applies province-wide) and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (which applies only in that region) – into the Provincial Planning Statement. It should be noted these changes to land-use policies will affect utilities, commercial, industrial and employment land developers, not just residential developers. The government is consulting on this policy change, with submissions due by June 5. The government expects the Provincial Planning Statement to come into force in the fall of 2023.
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