Housing report

‘Really disappointed’: Aurora mayor slams provincial affordable housing report as open season for development

Aurora Mayor Tom Mrakas is “really disappointed” with a new provincial report on affordable housing which he says could open the door to worrying levels of development.

“Apparently the solution to the housing affordability crisis is to limit public participation and allow developers to build what they want, where they want,” he said in a statement.

“Public planning for profit will not solve the affordability crisis in our communities. This is not a plan for the people.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark said the province is also consulting with municipalities and the public to increase housing supply.

“Everyone has a role to play in solving the housing supply crisis. As our government consults with municipalities, the public, and industry leaders and experts, we are balancing these perspectives to develop practical, forward-thinking policies that unlock and accelerate all types of housing for all types of Ontarians.” , did he declare.

According to a February 8 provincial statement, the task force’s recommendations include five main areas to achieve the goal of adding 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years:

• Make changes to planning and zoning policies to allow for greater density and increase the variety of housing.

• Reduce and streamline urban design rules to reduce development costs.

• Depoliticize the approvals process to fight NIMBYism and cut red tape to speed up housing.

• Prevent abuse of the appeals process and address the backlog at the Ontario Lands Tribunal by prioritizing cases that increase housing stock.

• Harmonize efforts between all levels of government to encourage more housing.

The report also recommends digitizing and modernizing the planning process, developing the skilled labor market and encouraging new pathways to home ownership, the province said.

“When Premier (Doug) Ford and Minister Clark created the task force, our instructions were clear: to provide concrete, actionable recommendations to solve the housing affordability crisis by getting more homes built” said task force chair Jake Lawrence.

“Long exams, bureaucratic red tape and expensive appeals make it too difficult to build new homes. We offer an ambitious and achievable goal of building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years and the steps needed to get there.