By Bob Wood
A downside of writing for North End Breezes is that current events may overtake your story and make it irrelevant.
Hopefully, this will be one such story.
That is because regulations proposed by the Ontario government that will support new housing legislation don’t achieve the goals envisaged by the legislation. Significant changes are needed.
The Ontario government published these new regulations in December. Until February 1st, citizens had the opportunity to comment before final regulations are built into the Promoting Affordable Housing Act (Bill 7).
Bill 7 was passed in December 2016. Most housing advocates liked it.
The Bill amended the Planning Act and put in place inclusionary zoning policies. These policies will allow municipalities to include affordable housing units within buildings or projects containing other residential units. Importantly, the policies provide for these affordable housing units to remain affordable over time. The Bill was intended to create affordable housing and help to end homelessness in Ontario.
But this isn’t going to happen because the regulations will essentially repeal Bill 7.
These draft regulations severely limit the total volume of affordable housing that could be built. They:
- Set caps on the amount of new affordable housing municipalities can build.
- Ban municipalities from creating policies that enable housing to remain affordable for any longer than 30 years. By doing this the affordable housing crisis is simply passed on to the next generation.
- Focus on producing affordable ownership housing over purpose-built rental developments.
- Shift considerable costs from developers onto taxpayers.