What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?
- Ontario is in a housing crisis.
- Everyone in Ontario deserves a safe, suitable and affordable place to call home.
- For too many Ontarians, home ownership is an unattainable dream.
- Rental housing stock is old, hard to find, doesn’t meet the needs of modern families, and rents are rising faster than incomes.
- Increasing homelessness has overburdened the shelter system and traps many Ontarians in poverty that’s hard to climb out of.
- This is a recipe for growing social inequality and young Ontarians leaving the province for lower-cost jurisdictions.
Where do we start?
If we are to address Ontario’s housing crisis effectively, we need to be guided by three key principles:
- The province needs to facilitate the process by working with municipalities and organizations and not dictate solutions to them as with Bill 23.
- The challenges vary across the province, and so must the solutions. While the province can set guiding principles, it must work with regions to develop, fund, and implement unique solutions that address local challenges.
- We need to focus on the entire housing spectrum, from homelessness to the rental market to home ownership. All Ontarians have a right to safe, suitable, and affordable housing.
What are we proposing?
Guided by these principles, our housing plan seeks to deliver on the promise of A Home for All of Us. It is built on four primary pillars:
Increase Density - Eliminate Exclusionary Zoning
Building on the greenbelt won’t solve anything. We need to increase density in a planned, thoughtful, and transparent manner, especially around transit corridors and post-secondary institutions. We will end exclusionary zoning, which prohibits higher density housing development in areas originally zoned for single-family housing.
And province-wide, we will allow multiplex housing, multi-tenant housing, the conversion of underutilized or redundant commercial space for residential or mixed purposes, and we will ensure local and regional housing plans also come with infrastructure plans to support them.
Support the Vulnerable
Over 15,000 Ontarians are homeless on any given night, and many more are precariously housed. This should not be acceptable in a province like ours.
We will work with municipalities to adopt income-based definitions and targets for deeply affordable, affordable and attainable housing that work for their regional contexts, create a framework that incentivizes and funds municipalities to create their own inclusionary zoning policies in consultation with stakeholders and developers, and invest in purpose-built low-income and supportive housing projects.
Once viewed as a step on the ladder to home ownership, for many renting has become a cage they can’t break out of. An increasingly expensive cage at that.
We will provide incentives to see more rental-specific buildings developed, ensure the fair application of rent control to renters regardless of when their building was constructed, close loopholes that allow renters to be renovicted and landlords to be held hostage by tenants who act in bad faith, and fund the Landlord and Tenant Board to clear the overwhelming backlog in cases.
Hope for Home Ownership
Homeownership is a dream out of reach for too many Ontarians. We accept the target of 1.5 million homes within ten years and will work to reach it by doing the following:
- Establish an Ontario Home Building Corporation to incentivize and finance housing development.
- Work with private, non-profit, and municipal partners to prioritize immediate construction on over 300,000 development-ready unbuilt housing units.
- Embrace novel and innovative housing strategies such as co-ownership of homes that allow multiple individuals or families to share ownership and space in a house.
- Develop a shared equity mortgage program.
- Invest in the Ontario Land Tribunal to allow faster adjudication of land use matters; and
- Incentivize municipalities to meet or exceed their housing targets with the promise of additional capital funding that can be used for locally relevant community infrastructure.
Why is this important?
Housing is a fundamental human right, and it is the foundation on which the success of our province must be built upon.
Without safe, suitable, and affordable housing, we cannot attract a skilled and diverse workforce.
Without that skilled and diverse workforce, we cannot attract the businesses and capital that will grow our economy and provide the economic growth that provides the standard of living we have come to expect.
That’s why we must solve Ontario’s housing crisis. A home for all of us.
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