Today, the government introduced the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 which proposes significant legislative and regulatory changes that aim to advance the province’s goal to increase housing supply in Ontario. It builds on the province’s More Homes, More Choice Plan and the More Homes for Everyone Plan.
The More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 proposes changes to several acts including, but not limited to the Planning Act, Conservation Authorities Act, and Development Charges Act, in accordance with four main themes:
- building more homes
- helping homebuyers
- reducing construction costs and fees
- streamlining development approvals
AMO is encouraged to see the province focus on increasing supply, including building more affordable and purpose-built rental housing. However, we are concerned that the province is proposing to exert more centralized control over local planning decisions and limit public consultation and appeals through this Plan.
In AMO’s view, the proposed changes to municipal development charges, parkland dedication levies, and community benefits charges may contradict the goal of building more housing in the long-term. Unless fully offset by funding to support growth-related projects, reductions in these fees will shift the financial burden of growth-related infrastructure onto existing municipal taxpayers.
Many of the proposed changes need to be better understood, as they seem to transfer risk from private developers to the public. At first glance these changes seem punitive in nature – at a time where staffing shortages of planners, building officials, and skilled labour are a key factor beyond the control of municipal governments.
AMO will be reviewing the various proposals and cross-ministry initiatives included in today’s announcement. We look forward to actively participating in any ongoing consultations and also hope that this work will be informed by the Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team.