New provincial growth plan continues to promote compact, transit-oriented communities but fails to address housing supply crunch: OHBA

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The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) says the provincial government has listened to industry and municipal partner concerns before announcing in late May that it would amend Ontario’s four land use plans, including the Greenbelt and Growth Plan. These plans will shape the growth of communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) for more than four million new residents over the next 25 years.

The province recognizes that the “one size fits all” approach to planning would not work in the GGH. The finalized plans provide more local flexibility, understanding the diverse nature of communities across the region. However, OHBA is concerned that should Ontarians continue to experience red tape and approval delays, housing supply, choice and affordability will be threatened.

“Our short-term concern has always been that without appropriate transition, the implementation of the updated land use plans could undermine current housing in the pipeline,” said OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro. “Our industry is currently fighting the delays created by the previous plan, which prevented bringing much-needed housing supply and choice to Ontarians. We need provincial funding and approval to deliver public transit, clean water and infrastructure and build complete communities.”

Over the past decade since the Growth Plan was originally introduced, the newly built housing mix has experienced a paradigm shift: dramatically reduced low-rise supply and increase in higher density housing. This new Growth Plan will continue the shift towards higher density housing across the GGH.

“This new Growth Plan will not alleviate either the housing supply crunch or escalating housing prices, however we believe that new interim targets and the recognition by the province for needed local flexibility will provide a smoother transition,” Vaccaro said in a statement.

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