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Fair housing plan introduced

Keys to your own homeOntario’s housing market has seen very dynamic growth in recent years, with prices in the Greater Toronto Area and the Greater Golden Horseshoe rising significantly. This has been supported by economic fundamentals, including a growing population, rising employment, higher incomes and very low borrowing costs. In an effort to address the situation, Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan was introduced last month by the Ministry of Finance, offering a comprehensive package of measures to help more people find affordable homes and to bring stability to the real estate market. The plan includes actions to address demand for housing, protect renters, increase housing supply and protect homebuyers.

Actions included in the plan include:

• Legislation that, if passed, would implement a new 15-per-cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on the price of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) purchased by individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada or by foreign corporations.

• Expanding rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991. This will ensure increases in rental costs can only rise at the rate posted in the annual provincial rent increase guideline.

• Legislation that would, if passed, empower the City of Toronto, and potentially other interested municipalities, to introduce a vacant homes property tax to encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out, to address concerns about residential units potentially being left vacant by speculators.

• Establishing a housing advisory group which will meet quarterly to provide the government with ongoing advice about the state of the housing market and discuss the impact of the measures in the Fair Housing Plan and any additional steps that are needed.

For a full explanation of actions outlined visit the Fair Housing Plan

Jennifer Birch

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