GTA industry applauds federal Housing Plan

By NextHome Staff
April 17, 2024

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) applauds the federal government for its recent housing supportive announcement and notes that the top-up of $400 million to the Housing Accelerate Fund and $6 billion for a new Housing Infrastructure Fund is exactly what is needed to support housing all Canadians.

“Challenges surrounding existing infrastructure and building new infrastructure, particularly water and waste-water, have created significant development bottlenecks in the Greater Toronto Area,” says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “This commitment by the federal government to invest in critical infrastructure is vital to unlocking housing supply to meet Canada’s rapidly growing population, enabling more homes to be built and will help address the housing affordability crisis.”

Freeze on development charges

The conditions in the federal government’s announcement that municipalities must commit to implementing a three-year freeze on increasing development charges will also assist in further addressing affordability. For years, BILD had been signaling that increasing development charges are contributing significantly to affordability challenges for new owners. Added costs from fees, taxes and charges from all levels of government, add 25 per cent to the cost of an average single-family home in the GTA, and are therefore driving up housing costs. Freezing development charges will stop the upward trajectory of these costs and provide relief to new-home buyers.

BILD says it has urged all levels of government to prioritize investing the critical infrastructure that is needed to get shovels in the ground to build new homes to meet the ever-increasing demand. Coupled with the provincial government’s housing infrastructure investment announcement in late March, BILD acknowledges the tremendous commitment from the federal and provincial governments to enhancing housing-supportive infrastructure, particularly water and wastewater. It is exactly this type of support and infrastructure that is needed to meet Ontario’s housing objective of building 1.5 million homes by 2031.

BILD says it looks forward to learning about additional measures to address housing supply and affordability, as further details of the federal government’s Housing Plan are released.

On the resale side, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) calls Canada’s Housing Plan is a historic commitment to addressing the housing crisis that is projected to unlock 3.87 million new homes by 2031.

TRREB is among the industry voices calling for governments to step up and make it easier to build more homes people can afford in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Canada’s Housing Plan delivers funding and support that will help provinces and local governments end exclusionary zoning, freeze development charges, and build housing enabling infrastructure.

'Team Canada' approach

“TRREB is pleased to see that Canada’s Housing Plan commits to helping future homebuyers achieve their dreams through extending mortgage amortizations for first-time home buyers and increasing the home buyers’ plan withdrawal limit to $60,000 for an individual or $120,000 for couples,” says Jennifer Pearce, TRREB president. “These are important changes that will help keep the dream of homeownership within reach for individuals and families.”

TREBB says it also welcomes the plan’s commitment to provide funding to build affordable rental units that meet everyone’s needs, including students and seniors, as well as leveraging under-utilized public lands to increase housing supply across the country.

TRREB says it encourages all levels of government to take a “Team Canada” approach to solving our housing affordability crisis.
“Finding an affordable place to call home cannot be a partisan issue that divides us,” says Pearce. “We must unite to meet this historic housing challenge.”

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