TORONTO — The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) says it will be closely examining the provincial government’s recently introduced Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, in order to better understand it and the possibility of unintended consequences.
The newly proposed housing legislation is expected to be used as a tool to ensure cities and towns can grow with a mix of housing typologies to meet the diverse needs of all Ontarians.
The association plans to deliver a submission to the provincial government, including further recommendations to protect the public interest with respect to both housing affordability and climate action.
The OAA has long maintained there should be residential intensification in existing built-up areas, states a release, adding this not only lowers costs for new homeowners by leveraging in-place infrastructure, but also offers more opportunities for Ontarians to be in their desired neighbourhood.
Legislation that supports intensification should not come at the expense of existing environmental protections such as the Toronto Green Standard and other nascent municipal green standards that aim to adopt higher tiers of the new 2020 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, adds the release.
The OAA commissioned a housing affordability study in 2018 from SvN Architects + Planners Inc. It found increasing density, optimizing zoning potential and matching municipal density targets to those set out in the 2017 Provincial Growth Plan positions the province to meet the housing demand of 1.5 million people in Ontario’s cities over the next 25 years.
“For more than a decade, we have been calling for thoughtful changes to the planning approval process that would increase our housing supply, but also maintain quality and minimize sprawl into green spaces,” said OAA President Susan Speigel in a statement.