OREA assesses Govt progress in addressing housing supply challenges

By Saeed Akhtar
Local Journalism Initiative
The Milton Reporter

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has published its latest policy report, titled “Analysis of Ontario’s Efforts to Boost Housing Supply,” examining the Government of Ontario’s advancements in response to the recommendations made by the Housing Affordability Task Force (HATF) to enhance housing supply in the province.

The report evaluates the progress towards implementing the 55 recommendations proposed in the HATF’s 2022 report, aiming to add 1.5 million new homes in Ontario by 2031. According to OREA’s analysis, 76% of the recommendations have been either fully implemented or are in progress. Specifically, 18 recommendations have been fully implemented (33%), 9 show significant improvement (16%), and 15 are currently in progress (27%), leaving 13 recommendations yet to be acted upon (24%).

While acknowledging the commendable legislative reforms initiated by the Government of Ontario, such as aligning official plans with provincial priorities and encouraging growth, OREA emphasizes the need to overcome the recent slowdown caused by high-interest rates working against these reforms. The association calls for continued efforts to combat red tape and municipal resistance to maintain momentum toward solving the housing affordability crisis.

Building on the HATF’s recommendations, OREA proposes ten action items for the province in 2024 that would significantly and immediately impact Ontario’s housing supply crisis. These include allowing water and wastewater through a municipal services corporation to reduce upfront building costs, implementing land use changes to end exclusionary zoning, and modernizing zoning to support commercial-to-residential conversions and greater density along transit corridors.

OREA CEO Tim Hudak stressed the urgency of addressing Ontario’s housing affordability crisis, emphasizing the need for the Ford Government to champion pro-homeownership policies. Hudak stated, “The dream of homeownership is slipping away, and there is an urgent need to address Ontario’s housing affordability crisis. The Ford Government must keep its foot on the gas by championing pro-homeownership policies.”

OREA emphasizes that the ten proposed action items are critical to creating future generations of homeowners by facilitating growth, enhancing planning consistency, and addressing short-term land and infrastructure needs.