Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is pushing to eliminate housing shortages in Canada’s largest province, as policy makers seek to deflate pricey markets in places like Toronto without triggering a correction.
Ford’s housing minister, Steve Clark, began consultations this month on proposed reforms that would give local governments more control over their own housing mix to unlock supply and attract investment. In a background document released in November, the ministry touted the economic benefits of adding 10,000 housing starts a year, an amount builders estimate would bring supply closer to demand.
Supply side measures are seen as critical to restoring affordability in some of Canada’s largest cities like Toronto, where prices have doubled since 2010. They would also ease pressure on policy makers to implement demand curbs that are seen as unnecessarily disruptive.
“We have to remove the barriers and the red tape that are getting ahead of housing being built at a more affordable cost,” Clark said in a telephone interview, describing the affordability issue as a “crisis.”
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