Ontario PCs outline recommendations to address housing crisis
April 10, 2017
QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown and Ontario PC Municipal Affairs and Housing Critic Ernie Hardeman announced recommendations on the housing file. The recommendations were detailed in a letter sent to Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. 
“For years, the Ontario PC Party has been ringing alarm bells about the province’s affordability crisis,” said Brown. “After 14 years of Liberal government, the cost of housing has reached an unprecedented and unaffordable level.”
Last week, the Toronto Real Estate Board revealed that the price of a home in the GTA has jumped by 33 per cent since March 2016.
“This has reached a crisis point,” MPP Hardeman added. “Families are worrying about how they’ll be able to afford their first condo or house. That is why we have proposed measures that would address both supply and demand, ensure evidence-based decision-making, and that experts from all parts of the housing market have a say.” 
MPP Hardeman will be tabling a motion later today asking the government to appoint a panel of industry experts to address housing affordability in Ontario.  
Recommendations include:
·         A commitment to address supply, including reducing the red tape and regulatory burden, which both limits the supply of new housing, and increases carrying costs which are passed on to consumers;
·         A commitment to addressing demand, including collecting data on speculative vacancies;
·         A commitment to review the government portfolio immediately, including properties escheated to the crown, to determine how many vacant residential properties the government owns in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area; and
·         The establishment of a panel of industry experts – including professional planners, builders, mortgage professionals, realtors and municipal representatives – to develop both short and long-term solutions to address Ontario’s housing challenge.
Brown also addressed the rental housing market. Some tenants have seen their rents double since the Wynne Liberals announced the possibility of future rent control measures.      
“The Premier’s wild speculation and the constant stream of policy rumours have started to affect the rental market and hurt real people,” Brown added. “I am calling on Premier Wynne to release her plan to address rental housing this week – not in the budget, not next month, but immediately.”
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