QUEEN’S PARK – The Ontario Liberal Caucus is urging the government to fix their new housing bill by adopting amendments that would build livable communities, not just houses.
“We are encouraged to see the government set ambitious and much-needed housing goals for cities across Ontario, but we must be in the community-building business not simply the house-building business,” said MPP Stephen Blais, Ontario Liberal Critic for Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Communities cannot thrive without the infrastructure that makes them livable places, such as parks, recreation centres, protective services, roads and sewer systems.”
While Bill 23 promises to build more homes, major flaws prevent the Ontario Liberal Caucus from supporting the legislation in its current form. If putting home ownership within reach of more Ontarians is the government’s objective, they must make the following amendments:
- Require development charge savings to pass onto consumers, lowering the cost of purchasing a home.
- Provide financial compensation to municipalities to guarantee the cost of building critical infrastructure is not paid for by property tax increases.
- Invest in the green economy by encouraging the construction of green housing that moves Ontario closer to achieving its climate change goals.
- Ensure communities consist of various housing types that suit the needs of Ontario’s changing demographics.
- Safeguard the use of public hearings to provide new mayors and councillors with adequate time to give feedback on how their community should grow.
“We fully support the initiative to help Ontarians realize their dream of homeownership,” said MPP John Fraser, Interim Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party. “But we also recognize that Ontarians, of all ages, want to live in complete communities – communities that are safe, affordable, and allow them and their families to thrive.”