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Fall Economic Statement: Ontario housing starts up, but still far off needed levels

The Canadian Press
Fall Economic Statement: Ontario housing starts up, but still far off needed levels

TORONTO — Ontario’s fall economic statement shows projections for housing starts are up from what the province had expected when the spring budget was tabled, but still well short of the pace needed to build 1.5 million homes.

The Progressive Conservative government has pledged to build that many homes within 10 years, by 2031, but at no point in the next few years does the province expect to even hit 100,000 new homes per year.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Paul Calandra has recently reversed two of the key moves on housing made by his predecessor, Steve Clark, by walking back plans to open portions of the protected Greenbelt for housing development and expanding some municipalities’ urban boundaries.

The fall economic statement tabled today by Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy shows the province expects to see almost 90,000 housing starts this year, more or less the same levels for the next two years, then up to about 94,000 in 2026.

Calandra wrote in a letter to municipalities earlier this month that the province was aiming for 110,000 new housing starts this year, ramping up to 125,000 the next year, 150,000 in 2025 and 175,000 per year in each subsequent year.

The fall economic statement also includes a new Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund, which would make $200 million over three years available to municipalities for the repair, rehabilitation and expansion of water, wastewater and stormwater projects.

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