How is affordability being handled in Ontario?
Cities with the highest populations are found in Ontario, one of the hottest provinces in the nation. With 2.27 million expected there by 2031, the area anticipates becoming a little more crowded. These figures indicate that the province needs a lot of new infrastructure, including more offices, housing, and transit.
The cost of homes in the area has risen to unaffordable levels as a result of the province’s expanding population. What the government will do to help address this issue has many prospective homebuyers wondering.
The Ford Administration has implemented proactive solutions to produce 1.5 million homes over the next ten years in order to meet the increasing demand. In February 2022, the Housing Affordability Task Force in Ontario issued 55 recommendations, one of which was this remedy. Since then, a first-step solution to help address the affordability crisis has been developed.
In response to the Task Force’s suggestions, the government introduced Bill 109, More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022. This new Bill will enable targeted policies to build more equitable, immediate housing for Ontario homebuyers more quickly.
On June 22, 2022, PMA-CIBC held their Summit Series Conference on ‘Tackling The Task Force – How Is Ontario Addressing Affordability?’.
The panel for this webinar included a number of other professionals from the home building sector and was moderated by Luca Bucci, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Home Builders Association. The hour-long conference was centered on Bill 109 and the steps that must be taken in order to build 10.5 million homes over the following ten years. The Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force report was deconstructed at the conference, along with the province’s strategy for market stabilization and the industry’s future
During the Summit Series Conference, Bucci stated, “We need to make an attempt to deal with the processing issues and delays builders have been experiencing with municipalities and the supply chain. The government is committed to using the Task Force recommendations as a blueprint in future legislation to tackle the issue of supply.’’
LET’S Take a closer look at these four themes and how they relate to the future of the province.
The Supply Chain & Today’s Inflationary Climate and Pressure
Understanding today’s market requires a thorough understanding of the supply chain and the inflationary environment. As the Bank of Canada raises interest rates, we are currently in an inflationary period. The price of homes is supposed to decrease as a result of this increase. There is a shortage of homes because of the high cost of construction. There is a shortage of resources, including materials, laborers, builders, and more, in addition to homes. Two actions must be taken in order to help combat these problems. 1) Ontario must find a way to assist residents in overcoming financial obstacles. 2) To identify its weak points and allocate resources to increase the supply of homes, the government must examine the supply chain.
The Talent Gap
A labor shortage is currently affecting Canada. The unemployment-to-job vacancy rate is at a historic low, according to Statistics Canada, which means there are currently more open positions than there are workers to fill them. The construction of homes is no exception, as there are not enough skilled workers or professionals to complete the task at the pace necessary to meet the goal of 1.5 million homes.
Allocating the appropriate resources to a) hire enough people and b) have enough money to raise wages to motivate people to work is part of the supply chain analysis we mentioned above. The government would need to work with professionals in the field and employ
incentives to encourage students to enter the trades and fill these positions in order to address these issues. Although immigration is a great solution, it would be best to hire Canadians and source from within. If the government, educational institutions, and business professionals joined forces, they might be able to close the talent gap and hire people for jobs like development, consulting, and staffing city halls. In the end, this would help the industry and get it back on track.
Response To The Legislation at Municipal Levels
A necessary and practical first step in addressing Ontario’s affordability issue is Bill 109. A few fresh initiatives have been introduced to help lower home prices, including this legislation, inclusionary zoning, and raising development fees. Bill 109 hasn’t been well received, though, because some municipalities have opposed it, at all levels of government. This problem has political undertones, and the construction sector frequently finds itself in the middle of them. Municipal representatives typically support their local constituents when the federal government introduces legislation like this. In order to build the necessary number of homes, depoliticizing home construction is essential. Mayors and council members must
draft bylaws in support of constructing new homes in their communities; new laws cannot only come from the federal level. For the anticipated growth, Federal, Provincial, and Municipal members must collaborate to increase housing supply and create denser communities.
Bill 109 As An Industry
This fourth theme connects to the first three, which inspired the development of the Bill 109 industry. The supply chain needs to be overhauled, there is a talent shortage, and the industry needs to be depoliticized, as we previously mentioned. Bill 109 has the potential to become a multi-billion dollar industry with thousands of employees, which would increase the supply of housing. More specifically, more people are needed in government positions, more teachers and business professionals are needed in educational institutions, and more people are needed in trade schools if Bill 109 is to gain traction. In order to do this, the sector would also require funding to provide incentives for people to want to work. Ultimately, the province could achieve its desired goals.
—building more homes and resolving the affordability issue—if Bill 109 was promoted as a top priority and turned into an industry.
Ontarians have been concerned about the affordability of the province for the past few years. The cost of homes has already risen to record levels in the province, and as history has shown, this is only natural. In Ontario, the average cost of a home was around $329,000 ten years ago. In Ontario, the typical home cost $923,000 in 2021. Average home prices have increased by 180 percent during that time; this rapid growth is unnatural. The government is however hopeful that Ontarians will once again be able to afford homes with the aid of Bill 109 and subsequent laws.
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