Ontario Appoints Housing Affordability Task Force
TORONTO ― Ontario has appointed nine members to a new Housing Affordability Task Force who will provide the government with recommendations on additional measures to address market housing supply and affordability. “Young families, seniors and all hardworking Ontarians are desperate for housing that meets their needs and budget,” said Premier Doug Ford. “At a time when our government is hard at work building an economy that works for everyone, this Task Force will provide us with concrete, expert advice that will support our government as we make it easier for more Ontarians to realize the dream of home ownership.” The mandate of the Housing Affordability Task Force is to explore measures to address housing affordability by:
Increasing the supply of market rate rental and ownership housing;
Building housing supply in complete communities;
Reducing red tape and accelerating timelines;
Encouraging innovation and digital modernization, such as in planning processes;
Supporting economic recovery and job creation; and
Balancing housing needs with protecting the environment.
The Task Force, chaired by Jake Lawrence, CEO and Group Head, Global Banking and Markets at Scotiabank, represents a diverse range of experts in not-for-profit housing, Indigenous housing, real estate, home builders, financial markets and economics. The chair’s report outlining the Task Force’s recommendations will be published in early 2022. “Our government’s policies under the Housing Supply Action Plan are working to address affordability, but more needs to be done at all levels of government,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The Housing Affordability Task Force will help our government build on our progress by identifying more opportunities to increase the supply of all kinds of housing, especially the missing middle. Under Mr. Lawrence’s strong leadership, I am confident in the expertise and experiences of this Task Force, and I thank them for their commitment to help us address the housing crisis.” “I’m honoured to have been appointed as the Chair of Ontario’s new Housing Affordability Task Force,” said Lawrence. “I’m proud to work with a diverse team of experts who are committed to ensuring improved housing affordability for current and future Ontarians. We are eager to begin our work to identify and recommend actionable solutions and policies to support the government’s efforts to address the province’s housing affordability crisis.” “Having a safe, affordable place to call home is an important building block in the foundation of success, which is why addressing housing supply and affordability is a key priority for our government,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “We are creating a Task Force to examine innovative policy solutions in order to ensure that the dream of home ownership is in reach for families in every corner of Ontario.” The Housing Affordability Task Force was first announced as part of the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario. Everyone has a role to play in fixing Ontario’s housing crisis. Ontario will continue to work with municipal partners to help them use the tools the province has provided to unlock housing and make finding a home more affordable for hardworking Ontarians. This includes working with municipalities through the upcoming Provincial-Municipal Housing Summit and a special session with rural municipalities leading up to the ROMA conference in January 2022.
The provincial government’s housing policies under More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan are working to make housing more affordable by increasing the supply of the full range of housing options, from single-family homes to midrise housing to apartment buildings.
In 2020, the year after More Homes, More Choice was implemented, Ontario saw the highest level of housing starts in a decade and the highest level of rental starts since 1992. Housing and rental starts in 2021 are on track to exceed these levels.
The province’s ongoing work to address housing affordability complements our continued supports for affordable housing for our most vulnerable Ontarians. Through the Community Housing Renewal Strategy and Ontario’s response to COVID-19, the province is providing more than $3 billion in this fiscal year and last year. This includes over $1 billion in flexible supports through the Social Services Relief Fund to municipal and Indigenous partners.