The government’s new legislation, while imperfect, is a good step towards more housing development, which is key to increased affordability. However, if its reforms fall short and no one offers a viable alternative, Ontario will not achieve its housing targets.
The demand for housing in urban areas is outpacing supply, leading to skyrocketing prices and a lack of affordable options for many people.
Raising taxable income for workers would help. But so would paying less in rent or to own their own home in a dense, walkable neighbourhood that doesn’t require a punishing commute to work.
Ontario and B.C. have new housing plans. And while advocates say Eby and Ford are taking a step in the right direction, they also insist many problems still remain.
Someone, at the end of the day, needs to pay for community infrastructure. Multiple levels of government share costs on many other infrastructure projects. Why should housing be any different?
The housing in Quebec isn’t the policy problem that it is in BC or Ontario. Voting in an incumbent is to be expected when things are pretty good for most people in Quebec.
There is a role for the provincial government to reduce government costs by decreasing, pausing, or altogether eliminating development charges for affordable or inclusionary zoning housing units and purpose-built rental units. It makes little sense to subsidize the sale price of a unit and tax the construction.
Housing prices are certainly too high in Canada and must be brought under control. But if they fall too far and too fast, we might actually have bigger problems on our hands.
More politicians across the country are running on pro-development platforms to get housing costs under control. But some are still advocating for various forms of rent control as well, despite warnings from economists.
Housing advocates say that long-running debates have been settled and public opinion is beginning to accept that if we want housing affordability we first need to be able to build new housing without hindrance.