Affordable housing continues to be a major concern for many families in the GTA. With the housing market as hot as ever, property values continue to skyrocket, making it very expensive for some to enter the market. This, in turn, has led many landlords to increase rent accordingly to make their investments as profitable as possible. Unfortunately, such increases often impact the most vulnerable in society, as many renters are renting because they cannot afford to own a home.
While some landlords have been moderate with their increases, others have gone far above what is reasonable. For example, back in April, tenants of a condo in Toronto received notice that their rents were going up April 1st – by $1650. That’s double what they were previously paying. Read more on this story from CTV News here: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/we-didn-t-take-it-seriously-tenant-shocked-by-doubling-of-condo-rent-1.3354229.
In an effort to create some balance in the market and help ease the burden faced by those in the most affected areas, the Ontario government has taken action with a 16-point plan aimed at affordable housing. While some reforms are aimed specifically at cooling the market, others are focused on addressing the demand for housing and increasing supply while taking action to protect renters.
Here are some highlights:
- Expanding rent control to all private units in Ontario, including those built after 1991
- Legislation to further protect tenants: standard lease in multiple languages, tightening provisions for landlords’ “own use” evictions and tightening compensation for tenants who are violated, etc.
- Leveraging surplus provincial land assets to develop a mix of market housing and new, permanent, affordable housing supply
- Enabling the city to tax vacant homes to motivate property owners to rent them out
- Ensuring property tax on new multi-residential apartment buildings is in-line with other residential properties
- A new, 5 year, $125 million program to encourage the construction of new rental apartment buildings
- A new housing supply team with dedicated employees whose role it will be to identify barriers to specific development programs to help find solutions
Read more about the plan in its entirety here: https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2017/04/ontarios-fair-housing-plan.html.
This plan focuses on measures to create more rental housing while also working to protect renters from massive rent increases.
If you’re finding rent and other household bills difficult to manage, call us for an assessment of your budget to identify solutions to ease some of the financial burden.
At Spergel, we’re committed to you. Call us toll-free at 310-4321.