On April 20, 2017, The Ontario government introduced the Fair Housing Plan that includes 16 housing affordability measures for homebuyers and renters after two consecutive years of double-digit gains in the housing market that made the average house prices in the Toronto region reach $916,567 in March 2017, up 33.2 per cent from a year earlier.
Among these measures are:
A 15 per cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents and non-Canadian corporations buying residential properties containing one to six units in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH).
Expanding rent control to all private rental units, including those built after 1991, strengthening protections for tenants against sudden, dramatic rent increases.
Empowering Toronto and potentially other interested municipalities to introduce a tax on vacant homes to encourage owners to sell or rent unoccupied units.
Working with municipalities and other partners to identify provincially owned surplus lands that could be used for affordable and rental housing development.
Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan includes an additional 12 measures, such as:
Introducing a targeted $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges.
Tackling practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market, such as “paper flipping” — a practice that includes entering into a contractual agreement to buy a residential unit and assigning it to another person prior to closing.
Assembling a new Housing Supply Team of dedicated provincial employees to identify barriers to specific housing development projects and work with developers and municipalities to find solutions.