GDAR Provincial Election Housing Forum
Updated: Feb 3
On Monday, May 16th GDAR hosted our first ever Housing Forum and breakfast at the Italian Canadian Club in Guelph.
There were nearly 100 REALTORS®, partners, and special guests in attendance including representatives from the Home Builders Association and The Guelph Chamber of Commerce.
We were joined by Jason Lagerquist, Head of Government Relations at OREA, who gave a very informative presentation on our provincial and local housing issues and several REALTOR® recommendations for the political parties that could help address those issues, such as:
Index the Land Transfer Tax (LTT) Rebate to Inflation
End Exclusionary Zoning
Convert Underused Commercial Properties to Homes
Level the Housing Playing Field
For more info visit the OREA website:
We also heard from Provincial Election candidates:
Mike Schreiner - Green Party
Raechelle Devereaux - Liberal Party
James Parr - NDP
Each candidate had a chance to speak to the attendees about their party’s housing platform and participated in a Housing Q&A at the end.
All candidates agreed that housing and affordability was a top issue in this election. There was some difference of opinion on the topic of Blind Bidding. The Green Party specifically will call for an end to the practice of Blind Bidding, while the other 2 parties agreed that reform is needed but they would be looking at all alternatives.
The Green Party would freeze urban boundaries, build 1.5M homes and 182,000 affordable community rental homes, including 60,000 supportive homes over the next decade, and clamp down on speculation because homes are for people, not speculators.
The Liberal Party would build 1.5 million new homes in Ontario over the next 10 years – doubling the pace of building from the past decade by going after the rules and red-tape that are driving home costs and prices up – and make it faster and more affordable to get new homes built where people want to live, such as unlocking more provincial land by burying electric transmissions lines and redeveloping underutilized strip malls and offices.
They would also introduce new taxes on vacant homes in urban areas and developers sitting on land and deliver province-wide rent control and prevent sudden rent hikes by reinstating rent control everywhere in Ontario – putting an end to the two-tiered rental market and providing much-needed stability to renters.
The NDP would end exclusionary zoning, increasing the supply of housing options that are affordable, and encourage responsible development within existing urban boundaries, while protecting farmland and natural heritage from wasteful sprawl. This includes aligning growth with transit investments and updating zoning rules to enable the construction of more affordable “missing middle” housing, like duplexes, triplexes and townhomes. Build 250,000 affordable homes by establishing a new public agency – Housing Ontario – to build affordable homes that are operated by public, non-profit and co-op agencies, not greedy speculators. Crack down on speculation by introducing an annual speculation and vacancy tax on residential property.
They would also maintain the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) at 20 per cent and close loopholes that allow wealthy investors off the hook. An NDP government will bring back real rent control for all apartments, eliminating the financial incentive for landlords to squeeze out tenants to raise the rent and ensure that you pay what the last tenant paid by scrapping vacancy decontrol.
The NDP would create a portable housing benefit, as recommended by the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) and Co-Operative Housing Federation Of Canada, to assist tenants who can’t afford their rent in addition to basic necessities for themselves and their families and fix the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) and restore the right to in-person hearings.