TORONTO, March 31, 2022 – The Toronto Region Board of Trade applauds the Ontario Government’s More Homes for Everyone Plan for taking many positive, necessary actions that will help address the region’s housing affordability crisis. In addition to these measures, the Board is reiterating its call for further action to remove regulations that prevent more affordable types of homes from being built in communities across Ontario.
Of the many positive actions put forward, measures to improve planning timelines, including approvals, site planning and zoning by-laws, will further municipal accountability and help ensure needed housing projects are not held up unnecessarily. Introducing the Community Infrastructure and Housing Accelerator tool can also help municipalities deliver on priority projects while ensuring opportunity for public consultation and input. Improving data quality will also enable better decision-making by governments and provide much-needed transparency for businesses.
“The time to act on our region’s acute housing affordability crisis was yesterday, so we support all steps that move us forward,” said Jan De Silva, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade. “But we also know this issue has been heavily consulted and studied. While consultation may be helpful, another round will not build the missing middle housing supply our region and its workers so desperately need. To preserve our competitive talent advantage, we need strong measures that will unlock the potential for tens of thousands of new homes.”
Housing affordability is a top priority for the Toronto region and is estimated to cost our economy $8-billion per year, as quantified in the Board’s The Cost of Inaction report. At the Board’s annual Workforce Summit on Tuesday, speakers from across sectors repeatedly emphasized the direct connection between high housing costs and employers’ ability to access talent. This threatens Ontario’s short- and long-term competitiveness.
“We’re encouraged to see the government introducing practical changes, including strengthening development approval timelines, clearing the appeals backlogs, and enabling taller mass timber buildings,” said Craig Ruttan, Policy Director, Housing, Toronto Region Board of Trade. “But we are disappointed that some of the Board’s critical recommendations, like ending exclusionary zoning, have been put aside for further consultation rather than quick action.”
The Board acknowledges the important role that municipal governments play in the planning process, and the province has committed to additional consultation with municipalities. While the Board encourages the parties to find a path to quickly unlock missing middle housing options, provincial leadership may be needed to reform the unsustainable status quo.
Ending exclusionary zoning would enable more missing middle housing options like fourplexes in communities across Ontario. While the government has announced consultations on increasing missing middle housing, the Board continues to urge the government – and all parties – to commit to implementing this important change as soon as possible.
About Toronto Region Board of Trade
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.
Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager