Province providing surplus land to help create housing for families
The Ontario government is helping create new housing by providing over four acres of surplus provincial land at the corner of Dufferin and Centre Streets in Vaughan to a not-for-profit. Making use of provincially owned surplus lands for non-profit housing is part of the government’s More Homes for Everyone plan to make it easier to build community housing, cut red tape, and protect home buyers and renters.
“Ontario has a severe shortage of housing supply, and that affects all Ontarians – no matter what your budget or background is. Families in Vaughan, and across the province, are having trouble finding homes that meet their needs and budget,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “That’s why our government is making it easier to build all types of housing where it makes sense – so that no one is left behind. We’re making better use of provincially-owned lands for non-profit housing in a location that’s ideal for families because it is close to community services, amenities, and public transit.”
Through More Homes For Everyone, Ontario is proposing to make the community housing system more sustainable and efficient by working with local partners to develop a new regulatory framework under the Community Housing Renewal Strategy. The proposed new regulatory framework would encourage housing providers to stay in the system to ensure the province’s most vulnerable people remain housed.
The government has also successfully negotiated an agreement with the federal government to provide a combined $127 million through a fifth round of the Social Services Relief Fund (SSRF) that will add to rent banks, keep vulnerable Ontarians housed, and create long-term housing solutions in response to increased need for services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This brings Ontario’s total investment through SSRF to date to nearly $1.2 billion, one of the biggest investments made in supportive housing and homelessness supports in the province’s history.
“Following years of uncertainty and ongoing challenges, we want to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society have the support that they need,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “We will continue to work with all levels of government to make sure those supports are available to those who need it most.”
“I am pleased to welcome today’s announcement that the Province of Ontario will unlock provincial lands near Dufferin and Centre Streets in the city of Vaughan to address housing affordability for the citizens of Vaughan and beyond,” said Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of Vaughan. “I want to thank the Province and Minister Steve Clark for their continued efforts on this critical province-building priority. In Vaughan, we have always advocated for diverse, affordable and attainable housing options that align with our vision to move our city forward without leaving anyone behind. We remain committed to working with all levels of government and the community to develop solutions to address the ongoing housing affordability challenges faced by Vaughan residents and all Ontarians. Together, through hard work and collaboration, we can build a land-use planning process and invest in housing supports that will create more housing options for Ontarians.”
- The province continues to advocate for municipalities to receive their fair share of funding from the federal government, which is underfunding Ontario by approximately $490 million under the National Housing Strategy and Reaching Home program. These additional revenues would flow to municipal service providers to ensure vulnerable Ontarians can access the housing they need.
- To help make underutilized provincially owned land more productive for communities, the government recently introduced the Centre of Realty Excellence (CORE), passed as part of the Fewer Fees, Better Services Act. The new CORE initiative streamlines government processes so underutilized properties can be sold at the greatest value for taxpayers and transformed to better serve the needs Ontarians and their communities, with the priority of creating more affordable housing and long-term care beds.
- To inform Ontario’s More Homes for Everyone plan, the government conducted a three-part consultation with the public, municipalities and industry, including a report from the Housing Affordability Task Force that will serve as Ontario’s long-term housing roadmap.