Ontario Liberal housing plan puts land speculators on notice

Plan will target underused lands like stripmalls and government properties

TORONTO – Steven Del Duca has announced the Ontario Liberal plan to make housing more affordable and available to both renters and homebuyers – a key component of the party’s bold vision for Ontario, A Place to Grow. The comprehensive plan includes nearly forty policies that will make buying, renting, and living in a home easier and more affordable.

“It’s hard to have a conversation these days without hearing about the skyrocketing cost of housing. The fact is, it’s getting harder and harder for people to live in the neighbourhoods they grew up in,” said Del Duca. “Our Ontario Liberal plan will double the pace of homebuilding next year, and keep that pace going until we’ve built 1.5 million new homes on places like poorly used stripmalls, land held for speculation, and available government properties.”

The Ontario Liberal plan will build 1.5 million homes, including truly affordable homes like new social and supportive housing for people who need it. To help double the pace of homebuilding, the Liberal plan will create a new Ontario Home Building Corporation (OHBC) to finance and build new, affordable homes. 

This OHBC will work with local communities, as well as not-for-profit and private housing partners to build and maintain affordable homes of all types, either as a primary financing source or builder. Any homes sold by the OHBC will be available only to first-time home buyers, and any proceeds will go directly back into creating more affordable homes. The OHBC will have a mandate to immediately address the housing affordability crisis, cooling the market by ensuring homes – including affordable public homes – are built rapidly.

Ontario Liberals’ comprehensive housing plan to double the pace of homebuilding will also empower local governments to build more homes. As an important step toward zoning reform, an Ontario Liberal government will work quickly, together with municipal partners to allow homes with up to three units and two storeys to be built as-of-right across our province – with this permission also extending to secondary and laneway suites.

The Liberal plan for housing affordability will also:

  • Ban new non-resident ownership and put a tax on empty homes;
  • Introduce “use it or lose it” levies on speculators sitting on serviced land who have approved building permits, and use the funds generated to get more affordable housing built;
  • Bring back rent control to all homes across Ontario;
  • Enforce larger fines for persistently negligent landlords;
  • Regulate home inspectors and make home inspections a legal right;
  • Ensure buyers are refunded sooner for canceled housing projects, with significantly higher interest rates on lost deposits;

“In 2018, Doug Ford promised to reduce the cost of housing. In the four years since, the average home price has skyrocketed by half a million dollars as the Ford Conservatives churned through inadequate plan after inadequate plan,” continued Del Duca. “The Ontario Liberal plan for housing affordability puts speculators on notice while putting families first. Our message to Ontarians concerned about housing affordability is clear: the choice is yours.”

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