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By OREA, Ontario Real Estate Association

Ford government plan to protect and support Ontario’s homebuyers and tenants is key step towards solving affordability crisis.

“From rentals to resales to new builds, finding a great place to call home is something that drives all of us as Canadians. Everyone of us strives to find a safe, affordable place to live, grow, and raise a family. But in order to provide those opportunities, we need to and bring more housing options to market including more quality rentals while ensuring tenants are treated fairly.

That’s why the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) commends the Ford Government on the introduction of the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, which aims to support prospective homeowners, renters, and rental housing providers, while also adopting a targeted approach to deliver on their plan to build 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Ontario’s REALTORS® are pleased to see several proposed solutions to address the housing supply and affordability crisis, many of which align with OREA recommendations:

  • Bringing more affordable supply to market sooner through new tools supporting growth in Ontario’s large, fast-growing municipalities, including requiring planning for growth near transit stations and streamlining rules around land-use planning.

  • OREA has long advocated for new tools, including municipal incentives and as-of-right zoning around major transit stations, and today’s supply initiatives are a welcomed step in the right direction. The tools outlined today will provide municipalities with increased flexibility, create more homes in urban and rural communities, and support local economies by creating new jobs and addressing public safety which will continue to foster strong, vibrant communities across Ontario.

  • Doubling adjudicators and staff at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) via a $6.5 million investment, which will improve service standards and decision-making timeframes, delivering faster, more definitive results for both tenants and landlords. This aligns with OREA’s recommendations to help increase housing supply by providing the Ontario Land Tribunal and LTB with the tools they need to tackle appeal and dispute backlogs, helping mom-and-pop investors provide quality rentals across the Province.

  • Strengthening protections for Ontario’s renters, including doubling fines for landlords who break the rules, helping tenants remain housed during hardships, and ensuring tenants better understand their rights and responsibilities.

  • The proposed measures to increase tenant protections from landlords who break the rules will help provide more security and stability for Ontario’s renters. OREA’s recommendations in the Fighting for Fair Housing report emphasized the importance of raising the bar on tenant protection to provide more quality housing opportunities for all Ontarians that will be especially impactful for BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities who face greater challenges securing housing.

  • Expanding consumer protection and insurance coverage for First Home Savings Accounts at credit unions, providing more ways for young Ontarians – particularly those in smaller rural and Northern communities – to save for their first home.

  • OREA has repeatedly called for access to alternative financing options as a path to homeownership and this plan does just that.

Ontario REALTORS® commend Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, and Associate Minister of Housing Nina Tangri for bringing these proposals forward and for supporting future homeowners, tenants, and landlords across the province.

The Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act builds on the Ford Government’s previous pro-housing bills, and will significantly advance the long-term goal of increasing supply and affordability for Ontario families.

However, further action can still be taken to help end the housing affordability crisis, including continued roll-back of exclusionary zoning across the province, converting underused commercial space to residential housing, and increasing tax breaks for first-time buyers.”

– Tim Hudak, CEO, Ontario Real Estate Association

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