Ontario long-term housing strategy does not address homeownership

After months of consultations, the Government of Ontario released its Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy in December 2010. Ontario’s Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy is designed to improve access to affordable housing. Unfortunately, the strategy does not include a homeownership component, something that OREA strongly recommended during consultations.

Instead, the strategy reforms the province’s housing system by:

  • Consolidating Ontario’s housing and homelessness programs to give municipalities the flexibility to use funding to address local needs.
  • Simplifying the rent-geared-to-income calculation process so that most tenants would only declare their income once a year.
  • Expanding affordable housing options by requiring municipalities to set policies that would allow second units in new and existing developments.
  • Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of municipalities and the province to create stronger partnerships and greater accountability.

While the strategy improves the province’s approach to social housing, it does not include any component to help Ontarians achieve their homeownership dreams.

The Ontario REALTORS® Association wrote to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing noting the association’s disappointment with the lack of support for homeownership in the new housing  strategy. The letter specifically noted that homeownership builds strong stable communities and helps drive the provincial economy through consumer spending and construction.

Reprinted from the Queens Park Plus Jan 2011, by permission of the publisher.

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Jagdeep Singh

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