Today the Government introduced its latest Housing Supply Action initiative, Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Plan and its complementary legislation, Bill 97, Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, 2023. In addition to tabling legislation, there are approximately 8 associated regulatory proposals open for consultation.
The plan proposes actions to:
- Protecting tenants and building rentals
With a central focus on improving the rental housing space, AMO is pleased to see that Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Plan and associated legislation and regulatory proposals that recognizes the full continuum of housing and attempts to make life easier for renters. This work is consistent with to ongoing advocacy from AMO around improving landlord-tenant relations.
- Helping homebuyers
The Government continues to look at a range of tools to help make homebuying more accessible, including regulatory amendments to help first time homebuyers save for a downpayment, freezing provincial housing development fees, exploring consumer protection opportunities for new home purchases, and continuing advocacy with the federal government.
- Streamlined provincial land-use planning policy and complementary Planning Act changes
The Government is proposing more changes to the Planning Act, and consulting on a new policy document called the Provincial Planning Statement that combines the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 and A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. AMO will be reviewing these proposals in more detail as to how these proposals will impact other housing legislation.
Direct Responses to Municipal Feedback:
- The legislation responds to municipal concerns regarding the municipal requirement to gradually refund zoning by-law and site plan application fees if they failed to make a decision within specified time periods by proposing to postpone the start date to July 1, 2023 to give municipalities time to adjust.
- In response to feedback on smaller projects, the proposal also includes the flexibility for municipalities to use site plan control for residential projects with 10 or fewer units in specific circumstances.
- The proposal also intends to address the concerns of municipalities and others have raised regarding the shortage of building inspectors. AMO looks forward to working with the Government as it redesigns on the qualification program and creates modern tools, guidance, and partnerships with key stakeholders in this area.
AMO will continue to review the proposals and update members, as needed.
City of Toronto Audit Update
On March 29, Toronto City Council adopted the Terms of Reference for the Municipal Bill 23 Audit.
By July 1: Provide an independent estimate of the financial impacts of Bill 23 assuming the City would meet/exceed the new housing targets, over the 10-year period, 2022 to 2031. The engagement will ensure modeling assumptions are supportable, probable, and complete.
By September 30: Evaluate activities and decisions on investments in growth-related infrastructure (since 2018) scoped around 3 principles:
1. Accountability – Did the City levy and use municipal development-related charges, such as development charges (DCs) and parkland dedication levies, according to their intended purpose consistent with the DC background study, appropriate legislation and having regard for council direction?
2. Effective – Did the City follow a prudent process to ensure DC funds collected are appropriately applied against DC eligible growth projects included in the DC Background study?
3. Efficient – Did the City make timely investments in growth-related infrastructure through well-organized project management and administrative processes?
The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing had also committed to launch a third-party audit of other select municipalities to get a factual understanding of finances, including reserve funds and DC administration. AMO will continue to follow the progress of the work coming from City of Toronto audit and looks forward to more information regarding other municipal audits as it becomes available.