With the Ontario election less than 2 months away, the details are beginning to stream out of the political system. The third party New Democrats recently revealed a fully costed, comprehensive platform on what an NDP government would do with a mandate from the people. This Tembo blog will outline the platform and what it has to say on real estate and home ownership.
30,000 ‘Supportive’ Housing Units For The Mentally Ill And The Severely Addicted
This is one of the planks of the NDP’s mental health and addictions policy. 3,000 units of ‘supportive’ housing will be built every year for 10 years. This policy will cost $228 million per year in capital costs and $50 million in operational expenses.
Affordable Housing, And Lots Of It
65,000 affordable homes are to be built over 10 years. The NDP also affirm that housing is a human right. The NDP commit to signing on to Prime Minister Trudeau’s National Housing Strategy, which makes the same clear statement about housing as a human right. Co-Op construction bids will also be supported with a small amount of money.
Zoning Changes And Increasing Repair Funding
New housing developments will be required to set aside certain number of affordable homes. Rental properties will also be brought in under ‘inclusionary regulations’. The NDP will also encourage densification in key areas, provide municipalities with more powers in planning development. The NDP also commit to fund one third of the costs of repairing social housing at the municipal level.
A Residents’ Rights Act
This will add legal apartments, laneway houses, and granny flats to the properties of homeowners. It would augment the already considerable new rights and privileges of renters implemented for renters by the incumbent government. A rent registry would be created, so tenants know past rent charge history. Further protection for law abiding renters. And ‘guarantees’ of affordable rent in the long term and encouraging rental buildings.
Broad measures against speculation (A Non-Resident Speculation Tax)
Essentially the boldest measure, the NDP will extend the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) ‘anywhere speculation is overheating the housing market’. A ‘Housing Speculation Tax’ will put a tax on foreign and domestic speculators who fail to pay taxes to the Ontario treasury. This emulates recent measures by the British Columbia government. The tax would be applied annually, would cover the whole province, and would target foreign and domestic speculators aggressively.
Other measures mentioned:
- “Fighting the use of real estate for tax evasion and money laundering purposes” by calling for a multi-agency working group
- Reforming Tarion Warranty Corporation to protect homebuyers from shoddy construction and unfair financial risks
- The above mentioned Housing Speculation Tax is projected to generate $671 million dollars to the provincial treasury annually by 2019-2020, roughly one third of the entire dividend to the provincial budget from the LCBO.
As expected, the NDP are aiming to boost affordable housing investments, increase legislation to protect renters, and to tax speculation more aggressively. Measure to spur more diverse forms of development, to increase densification, and to protect homebuyers are mentioned. Tembo is non-partisan. We eagerly await a fully costed and complete platform from the Opposition PC party.