VAUGHAN, ONT. — The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) supports the provincial government’s passage of Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, saying it is targeting “regressive” development charges that add to the cost of housing.
The legislation mandates freezing, reducing and exempting fees developers pay to build affordable housing, non-profit housing and inclusionary zoning units. Other amendments include allowing three units as well as duplexes and triplexes on a single lot without bylaw amendments or municipal permissions.
The legislation will also reduce fees for purpose-built rentals and limit future fee increases to help more people get into the rental market.
Toronto is seeing a marked decline in purpose-built rental construction, states a release, adding a recent CMHC report noted the decrease suggests some builders may be pausing to reassess the feasibility of development.
In the last 13 years in the GTA, development charges have risen by more than 600 per cent and currently adds $116,900 to the cost of a new home. Development charges are only part of the taxes, fees and levies which can add almost 30 per cent to the cost of building a new home, condo, rental unit or social housing. The costs are more than double those in any other jurisdiction in North America and hammer new renters and buyers – those who can least afford it, states a RESCON release.
“Removing development charges for affordable and non-profit housing, one of the items in the legislation, is the right thing to do as it will spur new residential construction,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall, in a statement. “These hefty fees are out of control and can result in a project being shelved. Municipalities have become dependent on them, and an alternative must be found.”