Ontario “cutting red tape” to spur housing construction

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Apartment under construction

Ontario's new Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act aims to speed up construction while keeping costs in check.

A standout feature of the Act is the "use it or lose it" policy, which empowers municipalities to kick-start stalled developments by withdrawing approval if certain milestones aren’t met.

Other key measures include:

  • Eliminating parking requirements near transit for increased housing density
  • Removing barriers to building garden, laneway, and basement suites
  • Supporting larger mass timber projects and standardised designs for modular homes
  • Streamlining consultation processes and limiting third-party appeals

But not everyone thinks the Act will increase housing delivery, especially outside the big cities. North Bay Mayor Peter Chirico believes "a lot of that legislation is directed at the GTA and high growth areas", and doesn't think it applies to northern Ontario.

"We don't have a lot of development that's just sitting. When they have the opportunity, developers in northern Ontario go forward with it," he said.

Indeed, the whole province is making good progress towards its housing targets without these measures in place. North Bay exceeded its target last year and is on track to exceed it again in 2024. Ontario as a whole reached 99% of its target of 110,000 new homes in 2023, putting the province around 19% of the way towards the 1.5 million goal set for 2031.

For property managers, construction is a double-edged sword – increased supply could lower rent prices but also presents opportunities for portfolio growth – easily managed with automated property management platforms like PayProp, which speeds up and de-risks your processes, scaling with you.

While the Act could speed up the construction process, it will still be some time before many developers start digging.

More construction headlines

Hamilton approves vacant unit tax to increase housing supply – Ontario Construction News

Ontario considering counting student homes in housing goal – CBC

Canadian housing starts expected to decline in 2024 – Storeys

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