TORONTO—Environmental Defence has issued a statement arguing that the Ontario government’s new More Homes for Everyone Act introduced by Housing Minister Steve Clark March 30 will lead to more sprawl and passes up an opportunity to add homes in existing communities where people want to live.
The statement said, “Bill 109 is as grave a disappointment for the environment, as we know it is for housing advocates.”
Last month’s Housing Affordability Taskforce Report should have led the government to restart the planning process with new rules that end exclusionary zoning and meet the next 30 years of housing demand by adding hundreds of thousands of homes in existing single detached neighbourhoods, rather than sprawl on farmland, forests and wetlands, stated Phil Pothen, Ontario environment program manager for Environmental Defence.
“There is no prospect that this grab-bag of technical and procedural amendments will deliver the hundreds of thousands of new townhomes, semi-detached homes and walk-up apartments within existing neighbourhoods to meet housing demand and end sprawl,” said Pothen.
“Proposed changes to the Minister’s Zoning Order power will not stem the flood of sprawl MZOs, and the proposed changes to Official Plan appeals might actually make it harder to allocate new housing to existing low-rise neighbourhoods.”