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Ontario Introduces Legislation To Build 1.5 Million New Homes In Toronto and Ottawa

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If the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act passes, significant changes come into effect in November 2022.

The Ontario government has introduced legislation giving more responsibility to the mayors of Ottawa and Toronto to deliver on shared provincial-municipal priorities, which includes building 1.5 million new homes within the next ten years.

If the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act is passed, it will allow Ottawa and Toronto to push for priority homes to be built faster – a key solution to the housing shortages in the regions.

As per the news release from the Ontario government, proposed changes include:

  • hiring the Chief Administrative Officer and municipal department heads, and create and re-organize departments
  • appointing chairs/vice-chairs for identified committees and local boards, and establish new identified committees
  • bringing matters for council consideration related to provincial priorities
  • vetoing bylaws approved by council if they relate to matters of provincial priority
  • proposing the municipal budget

It is expected that 35 percent of Ontario’s population growth by 2031 will occur in Ottawa and Toronto, and already, many residents of the region are struggling with housing shortages and rising costs of living which means that addressing this issue is critical.

“While there is no silver bullet to addressing the housing crisis, the Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act is another step in the right direction to provide more tools to municipal leaders to deliver on their platform commitments to constituents. The province is actively deepening our cooperation on all fronts across all municipalities to get 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The proposed measures would allow the council to amend the municipal override the mayor’s veto on budget amendments and by-laws associated with provincial priorities with a two-thirds majority vote. If passed, the proposed changes will take into effect at the start of the new municipal council term, November 15, 2022.

As part of Ontario’s plan to build more homes, they are launching the Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team (HSAPIT) which will provide information and recommendations on housing marketing initiatives which will build on the vision from the Housing Affordability Task Force and More Homes for Everyone