TORONTO — Newly appointed Housing Minister Paul Calandra provided an update on the Housing Affordability Task Force Sept. 7 and although the government has fully implemented 21 of the task force’s 74 recommendations, he said the government needs to do more.
“The housing supply task force report and recommendations provide an important blueprint on the way forward,” Calandra said. “I want to understand what the pathway looks like toward full implementation. But we can’t do it alone. As we continue to make progress, it’s important that we do so working alongside our municipal partners.”
This week, the government will write to mayors and heads of councils asking for input on the remaining task force recommendations.
“As we do, we will continue engaging with Indigenous leaders and our Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team to get their important input on next steps,” said Calandra. “The results of these consultations and the housing forum that the province is holding in November will be used to inform our next Housing Supply Action Plan which will be introduced in 2024.”
There are already a number of recommendations the government is eager to make progress on and is actively considering, he added.
“This includes increasing density on transit routes to align new home construction…and it includes allowing ‘as of right’ single egress and single-staircase construction so long as other safety measures are in place,” Calandra stated.
There are also recommendations that will be adopted immediately, including to resume reporting on housing data and require consistent municipal reporting as a condition to access programs such as the new $1.2 billion Building Faster Fund and to commit to evaluate the recommendations of the report for the next three years, with public reporting on progress.
“With this in mind, my ministry will soon be launching a webpage that will lay out the government’s progress on the report’s recommendations with regular progress updates as we move forward,” Calandra sated.
The recommendations cannot be implemented with the province alone, Calandra concluded.
“The task force was clear that we need to eliminate or reduce tax disincentives to housing growth which is why I am renewing our call for the federal government to work with us to defer or waive the HST on purpose-built rental housing or else the province will look at options to move forward alone,” he said.