VAUGHAN, ONT.—The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is calling on the government to remove systemic barriers that stymie residential construction.
RESCON recently sent a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford highlighting steps that must be taken to kickstart the production of more housing across the province in order to meet the target of building 1.5 million residential units over the next 10 years.
The council is asking the government to streamline and speed up the development approvals process by adopting the One Ontario solution and adopting a centralized, digitized development planning and building e-permitting system across Ontario.
RESCON also wants to see reforms to the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program to permit more foreign-trained construction workers, especially those in the voluntary trades, to work in Ontario.
The province should also end exclusionary zoning and establish provincewide zoning standards to spur missing middle housing, reform municipal development planning and building permitting processes and implement all 55 recommendations in a report by the Housing Affordability Task Force, indicates a release.
“The government has already taken many positive steps to address the housing and skilled trades shortage and we appreciate that, but there are inefficiencies in the development approvals process and further actions are necessary in order to keep up with demand and ensure that our industry can meet the housing supply target,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall in the statement. “We must address these issues as they will dissuade building investment and hamper the economic recovery of our province.”
Almost one quarter of the GTA’s current construction labour force, about 42,840 workers, is set to retire by 2030 and thousands will need to be trained and hired.
“To build the much-needed new housing, we must also have a well-thought-out skilled trades strategy to train the next generation of workers,” added Lyall. “Funding needs to be expanded to recruit and train more voluntary residential trades with specialized skill sets, some of which are suffering acute shortages.”