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Provincial Government Changing Rules to Speed Up New Housing Projects

Posted By: Rachel Kavanagh

May 22, 2019

Provincial Government Changing Rules to Speed Up New Housing Projects – The provincial government announced that it will ease the housing crunch with a package of measures aimed at getting more houses built quicker.

In proposed legislation stated by Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the new tribunal would regain its power to make final decisions based on its own determination of the best planning outcome. Mr Clark also pledged to clear the tribunal’s current backlog, where an estimated 100,000 unapproved housing units sit in limbo in Toronto alone. Mr Clark’s changes would reduce bureaucracy and spur the construction of new homes of all kinds, including rental apartments.

Representatives welcomed the proposals and indicated that this would help them build more homes to meet the pent-up and rising demand for places to live.

“By speeding up the approvals … that’s going to bring the homes to the area for the growth that we are experiencing,” said Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), which represents Greater Toronto Area developers.

When the proposed changes were announced, many critics feared that the government would do away with what is known as “development charges”. These charges cover the costs of water and sewer pipes and other infrastructure needed before a developer can begin building. The charges will remain, but with some changes.

These changes include:

  • New homes to be built with secondary units, such as basement apartments. Approvals will be easier to obtain.
  • Developers can delay development charges for rental or non-profit housing for five years.
  • Payments for community centres or other amenities would be combined with the payments for parks and standardized, capped and collected under a new process.

Finally, the government is finalizing changes it floated earlier this year that would see the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe loosened to require less density in new suburban housing developments.

The protected greenbelt space has been an important topic of conversation as many politicians and homeowners are against the development of the protected space. Mr Clark pointed to the provisions in the act that would allow the government to impose greater density housing around public-transit stations. He also made a point of repeating that the government would not touch the protected greenbelt that surrounds the Greater Toronto Area.


* Provincial Government Changing Rules to Speed Up New Housing Projects  written by Benczik Team Realty

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