The Future of Toronto lies in is our ability to deliver more affordable housing. The most affordable housing is condominium housing. Affordable housing per se is off the table in central Toronto, however we can slow down price escalations by doing the following:
- Bring back the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and kill the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The OMB was eliminated by the former Liberal government and replaced with the LPAT. The OMB was a court that would hear property disputes and render a binding decision. The only thing keeping the city and councillors from pandering to the public was the OMB. Without a place to have these disputes heard the NIMBY’s win the day. No OMB, much less development, much less density. A huge development slowdown is coming in two to three years as the pipeline of projects falls off to nothing. The LPAT that replaced the OMB does not have the authority to rule in the manner of the OMB. It will be ineffective, and density will tumble along with new projects.
- Encourage purpose built rentals by eliminating the new ‘rent control’ legislation. The creation of new rent controls that greatly deteriorate landlord rights. This act just de-incentivizes developers from building rentals. On the surface rent controls make sense. Rents are prohibited from rising too much there by providing reasonable rent. The price controls discourage new units from being built. Ultimately cost increases start to cut into any rent increases thereby making investment in this type of housing a diminishing return. It has been clearly shown that price controls and rent controls don’t work anywhere. The results will create a rental stock in bad shape due to investor reluctance to maintain properties and a shortage of accommodation due to investors avoiding the sector due to poor returns and higher risks. All of this leads to higher rents.
- Encourage investors of all kinds to buy investment condos. This will increase the supply of high quality rentals. Eliminate the 15% investors tax.
- Pressure the City of Toronto to eliminate the new Historic Control Districts bylaw which neuter huge swaths of downtown development land from ever being developed in a reasonable manner. This bylaw has created historic districts that newly name formerly non-historic buildings to historic status. This of course after the city has had 50 years to exhaustively designate buildings historic or listed. The result has neutered large areas of the core from ever being developed. The buildings clearly are not historic. The city believes ‘the era’ of when the buildings were created was significant, important, and historic thereby making the building important. This of course is poppycock. The bylaw is just an attempt to slow down or stop density in the core. By creating huge swaths of downtown into historic districts it has made it far too difficult to develop these sites economically. Thereby in a stroke of a pen shutting down development. A massive cut back in density and development will cause acute housing and office shortages. Creating spiralling rent and prices.
- Expand the population allotments in the 905 communities and allow areas within the ‘Plans to Grow’ strategy to expand within their urban boundaries. This will not diminish the greenbelt and will allow for tens of thousands of home starts to occur in the 905.