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Homeward Bound

Building Homes, Building Neighbourhoods

(Cette politique sera bientôt traduite)
The housing crisis in Ontario is a harsh reality that leaves many wondering how they will afford a place to call home. For some, the prospect of finding affordable housing isn't just daunting – it's impossible. The crisis goes beyond mere numbers -- it’s taking a toll in rural and urban Ontario, on individuals and families, disrupting social connections, and creating an overarching cost-of-living crisis.

We are dealing with multiple challenges at the same time. These include cost of living, healthcare, mental health and addictions, elder care, education disruption, labour shortages, debt and climate change. Housing touches all of these. To create a competitive, caring and fair Ontario, we need enough housing for everyone.

Here are some of the things I would do:

First, we must confront the short term housing and cost-of-living crisis head-on. Short-term support should be provided to those critically in need as we take the time to properly address the underlying structural issues.

The government's responsibility is to create an Ontario where safety and dignity are not just concepts but realities. This involves implementing a housing-first approach, supporting Indigenous housing initiatives, and relying on rent controls until we have sufficient housing stock.  My goal is to build a surplus of homes until we reach rental vacancy rates of 3-4%. This is the point at which, historically in Canadian cities, rent rises in line with inflation. When we reach this point we can rely on portable housing benefits instead of rent control.

  • Housing-first initiatives as a first step.
  • Rent control measures until sufficient vacancy rates are achieved. 

Supplement - Housing for people with developmental disabilities

I commit to supporting that 10% of the funding from the Canada-Ontario National Housing Strategy Bilateral Agreement be for housing for individuals with developmental disabilities. About 10% of those waiting for affordable housing have developmental disabilities. I have witnessed a home builder try, in good faith but unsuccessfully, to put together financing for a mixed housing project which included both market and housing for individuals with developmental disabilities. I believe that such a 10% set-aside would have made it easier for the developer, the developmental services agency and the municipality to work together to make that project a reality.

Our approach to housing must change to effectively tackle the crisis. I would legislate the right to build medium-density housing and create mixed neighbourhoods. Our future growth must include living closer together, with more and different neighbours. This is how we’ll beat this housing crisis, preserve our green spaces and allow everyone to afford a place to call home.

My plan is not to pave over our farmland and wetlands like Doug Ford, but to build the missing middle and increase density further around transit hubs as long as we build complete communities. We will connect communities with world-class public transit and consider how to expand GO to cities outside of the GTA. We’ll continue to pilot and find opportunities for rural bus service. 

Ontario isn't competitive on the world stage with the current situation in housing. A lack of affordable housing makes it harder to attract investment and our workers are leaving for more affordable places, like Alberta.

  • Legislate planning measures for medium-density housing 
  • Build self sufficient communities with mixed neighbourhoods and transportation

Fairer fundraising mechanisms are needed for our municipalities, and these mechanisms  should encourage, rather than inhibit, growth. One such mechanism involves allowing municipalities to tax gains in value of land as a result of changes to municipal zoning or infrastructure, through which municipalities can generate the necessary revenue for service provision while also discouraging land hoarding by forcing developers to use land in a timely manner or risk losing money.

  • Allow municipalities to generate revenue for service provision

We should support different residential options.  Renting, being a part of a co-op, co-living, secondary suites, small and large apartments, tiny homes, townhouses, single detached houses: these may all be part of mixed neighbourhoods. Every Ontarian needs a place to call home, and it’s our duty to widen our vision of what that looks like and all the possibilities there are.

We can either let the housing crisis continue to worsen, or we can choose a new path that leads to affordability and prosperity. Together, we can build an Ontario where everyone can attain access to affordable housing.

I believe there is hope for the future, and it's a future worth fighting for. Join me in my mission to build a competitive, caring, and fair Ontario.