Top Ontario government officials and representatives from the development, construction and real estate industries are calling for the streamlining of housing the residential development approval process to ensure there are no undue delays in bringing new housing supply.
“Ensuring residents can access housing that meets their needs is necessary to the sustained strength of the region. Housing is more than just where people live; it is social infrastructure that forms the building blocks of our communities and our economy,” said the Development Approvals Roundtable in a statement.
Among other things, a recently published action plan by the group encourages the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to:
address concerns on delays in the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process
develop new educational tools to support up-to-date zoning bylaws and/or community planning permit systems
work with other ministries that issue permits and approvals to make existing service standards transparent
The roundtable group also suggested a slew of “action items” to other government ministries. Headed by Secretary of the Cabinet Steve Orsini, the group was convened earlier this year as part of the provincial government’s 16-point Fair Housing Plan.
According to the group’s figures, the housing industry contributes over $14bn to Ontario’s economy and is a critical economic driver in the region. “The construction of housing has significant economic spin-off effects and employs almost 200,000 people in the province. In addition, housing options that are both affordable and accessible are crucial to attracting and retaining the skilled workforce that our region needs to grow,” the group said.