More Homes, Built Faster Ontario 

The Ontario government announced housing changes this month that will override municipal zoning laws in some situations and allow for the construction of up to three units on each residential lot. The government tabled a bill Tuesday--called the More Homes, Built Faster Act--including a number of legislative changes and proposals they say will help “build housing faster and bring costs down,” allowing the Progressive Conservatives to meet their goal of building 1.5 million homes in 10 years. 

Under the legislation, up to three units will be allowed on a single residential lot without any bylaw amendments or municipal permissions. An example provided by the government shows a basement apartment and garden or laneway house could be built on a property and rented out to tenants. Duplexes and triplexes could also be built on single residential lots, regardless of municipal zoning laws.

The legislation would make it so municipalities can’t set restrictions on unit sizes or require more than one parking space per unit.

One of the ways proposed to increase gentle density is by expanding what’s allowed to be built without further planning approvals. Our plan would permit up to three residential units on most residential lots “as of right” – that is to say, without needing a by-law amendment. For example:

  • a main residence
  • a basement apartment
  • a garden house

This creates a broader mix of rental housing and could help homeowners to pay their mortgage or accommodate extended family. Officials hope this will create a “broader mix of rental housing.” The Ontario government has also said it will be assigning housing targets to 29 large municipalities based on population size and growth.

As part of the housing legislation, the City of Toronto will be on the hook for the creation of 285,000 new homes by 2031. Ottawa has been assigned a housing target of 161,000 while Mississauga has a target of 120,000 and Brampton has a goal of 113,000 homes.CHANGES IN DEVELOPMENT CHARGES AND FEES


Ontario will also scrap fees—including development charges, parkland dedication levies and community benefit charges—for affordable housing, non-profit housing and “inclusionary zoning units.” This is in addition to reducing development charges up to 25 per cent for family-sized rental units.

Conservation authority fees for development permits will be temporarily frozen.

Government officials said conservation authorities will no longer need to consider factors such as pollution or land conservation when approving permit requirements. Instead development regulations will be streamlined to focus on natural hazards such as flooding and erosion.

They will also streamline the province’s 36 conservation authorities into one agency.

A number of proposals that would allow the government to “streamline processes” to get housing built, including removing the requirement for municipalities to hold public meetings for every development draft plan, focusing site plan reviews on health and safety issues rather than landscaping details, and allowing ministry staff to make certain decisions on aggregate development applications rather than waiting for a minister’s approval.

The housing legislation would go into effect by the summer of 2023 if it passes. It will be interesting to see what opportunities this may bring for renters, investors as well as end users who can potentially help subsidize their mortgage with expanding the rental area of their home.

For more information here is a link to the Government of Ontario's website. More Homes Built Faster

Posted by Paul Ambler on
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