Mortgage Broker

Summer 2019

Mortgage Broker is the magazine of the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association and showcases the multi-billion dollar mortgage-broking industry to all levels of government, associated organizations and other interested individuals.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 44 of 47

CMB MAGAZINE summer 2019 | 45 fraserinstitute T he Ford government recently announced the broad strokes of its "housing supply action plan" aimed at getting a greater number and variety of much-needed homes built in Ontario's least affordable communities – especially Toronto. Many details of the plan remain to be revealed, but early signs suggest it will include some of the boldest steps towards affordability the province has seen in a long time. e government's strategy represents a fundamental break from the mistaken "de- mand side" strategies that have been repeat- edly tried and proved wanting in recent years. For several years now, housing policy mainly tried to curb housing demand in Canada's most expensive metro areas – think punitive taxes on summer homeowners in British Co- lumbia, and mortgage "stress tests" imposed by the federal government. Ontario's latest proposals, should they come to pass, mark an important change of tack in unlocking more housing supply. Instead of trying to dissuade demand, the Ford government aims to encourage growth in the number of new houses, townhomes, duplexes and apartments. By allowing supply to keep up with demand, a supply-centered approach can help make sure that housing is built, prevent prices from running away and prevent our biggest cities from becoming exclusive enclaves. So what exactly will the Ford government's supply-based strategy look like? As noted, details and implementation remain to be revealed, but early signs are encouraging. e Ontario government wants to accelerate the approval process for new homes, streamline and cap the fees municipalities charge in exchange for added density, and beef up the authority of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal – a legal body that adjudicates land-use planning disputes between local governments, citizens and property developers. Again, depending on how these proposals are implemented and whether the necessary changes to Ontario's existing planning legisla- tion (and local bylaws) are carried out, there's a real possibility they can help reduce uncertain- ty for homebuilders and in turn increase the number of much needed homes for Ontarians. ere's potential good news for Ontarian renters, too, who face some of Canada's highest rents and tightest vacancy rates. Building on its elimination of rent controls on new rental units last year, Queen's Park aims to boost the number of secondary suites – ranging from laneway homes to garage units – by requiring municipalities to authorize them without the need for drawn-out rezoning processes or potentially onerous development charges. In other words, the province would require municipalities to make it easier for people to create secondary suites on their property – again, boosting housing supply, increasing the variety of types of housing available, and creating more affordable units for those who need them. ere's a long path from a good idea to a successfully implemented policy, but there are several good ideas in the Ford government's housing supply action plan. For young families looking for a toehold in the housing market, retirees looking to downsize into more walk- able, amenity-rich neighbourhoods and many other Ontarians struggling to find affordable housing options in the province's hottest mar- kets, the latest proposals may mark a turning point in Ontario and beyond. Ben Eisen is a senior fellow and Josef Filipowicz, a senior policy analyst, with the Fraser Institute. is article originally appeared in Fraser Forum, the Fraser Institute blog. More at A Pivot to Supply Ontario makes encouraging housing moves BY BEN EISEN AND JOSEF FILIPOWICZ Lars Hagberg/Canadian Press (below) Aerial view of houses in Oshawa, Ont. Ontario is planning to make it cheaper to build secondary suites and rental housing as part of the government's plan to increase housing supply.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Mortgage Broker - Summer 2019