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PURPOSE-BUILT RENTALS ARE ESPECIALLY NEEDED IN ONTARIO

Posted in Housing, Industry Trends, Newsworthy

PURPOSE-BUILT RENTALS ARE ESPECIALLY NEEDED IN ONTARIO
The Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) was pleased to see the Ontario-Municipal Summit bring together Premier Doug Ford, Housing Minister Steve Clark and municipal leaders to discuss the housing crisis and coordinate efforts to increase the supply of homes across the province.

The announcement of a Streamline Development Approval Fund to help municipalities modernize and accelerate processes for managing and approving housing applications should get shovels in the ground faster and provide a much-needed boost to our housing supply.

The More Homes More Choice Act has encouraged the development of more housing including purpose built rental, with more units under construction in 2021 than in over three decades. While that is great news both for Ontarians looking for a place to call home today, and for those looking to call Ontario home in the coming years, more needs to be done to close the projected 200,000 unit supply gap expected over the next decade.

With vacancy rates mostly back to pre-pandemic levels, the province will need more housing supply to ensure that every Ontarian has a good, affordable place to call home. Purpose-built rentals have a key role to play, and they are especially needed. About a third of Ontarians currently live in a rented home. In the City of Toronto, that number rises to almost half of the total households. Prioritizing more rentals must be a cornerstone of any strategy aimed at providing a home for every Ontarian who needs one.

So what can be done to bring more homes to market faster? Creating an “As-of-Right” zoning framework for purpose-built rental that provides certainty based on meeting a set of conditions agreed upon by the province and municipal sector. For example, zoning approval on an existing rental housing site could be automatically available saving years in the process and unlocking thousands of units.

In addition, density incentives could be offered to purpose-built rental projects in communities where rental housing is needed the most, improving the business case for these homes to be built.

The appointment of a provincial Rental Housing Facilitator could also help expedite site-specific rental housing approvals. These policies would reduce red tape, speed up the approvals process, and lead to more purpose-built rental units being built.

Ontario has made progress in addressing the housing crisis. The Ontario-Municipal Summit is a positive next step in finding solutions that will work for all Ontarians. The time to act is now, and FRPO is ready to work with all levels of government to help increase housing supply.

 

Story by: Toronto Sun