Ontario ACORN’s Statement on More Homes for Everyone Act: Where are the renters?

Posted on March 31, 2021

The Doug Ford Government is patting itself on its back for tabling a new housing legislation - More Homes for Everyone Act. However, not surprisingly, the legislation is NOT for everyone but only for those who already have access to housing! The legislation which purports to help the “missing middle” BUT misses low- and moderate- income renters completely!

The legislation does not offer nothing to address the housing need among low- and moderate- income people. As laid out by the recent Housing Affordability taskforce which did not include any organization that represent or works with tenants, the consequent legislation that has been tabled therefore does not touch upon any issues that affect low- and moderate- income people.

What does the legislation do - measures to help homebuyers ONLY!

For the Doug Ford government, the main problem facing people reeling under housing crisis in Ontario is lack of housing supply. Hence, to tackle the “housing problem”, the legislation focuses on measures that mostly pertain to homebuyers and not renters.

  • Increasing the non-resident speculation tax rate to 20 per cent.
  • Working with municipalities enhance measures that will crack down on land speculation and protect home buyers. 
  • Strengthening consumer protections for purchasers of new homes in case of cancelled projects are aligned with the impact on homebuyers. 
  • Creating a new tool specifically designed to accelerate planning processes for municipalities. 
  • Conducting consultation which will begin the process of implementing “missing middle” housing policies that will work to implement gentle density and multi-generational homes on the ground across different types of municipalities.

What does the legislation NOT do - NOTHING for renters!

  •  It is a well-known fact mere enhancing the housing supply is not the answer to the housing crisis. It is only a small part of a solution.
  • Recent CMHC data shows that average rent in Ontario for the new housing built in 2021 was $2,222 per month! Building new housing will NOT be affordable for the people suffering the most in the housing crisis.
  • As part of this new legislation, the Doug Ford government is giving more money for virtual hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board and promoting digital evictions. LTB needs greater resources but to ensure that most vulnerable tenants have access to legal means. Remote hearings are leading to accelerated evictions as most disadvantaged tenants are at a greater disadvantage because of a range of issues including lack of access to the internet, low internet speed, lack of digital literacy, language barriers and more!

What does ACORN want?

ACORN members know what the real solutions are to the current housing crisis.

  • Tenants need the province to implement FULL Rent Control. This means introducing vacancy control, stopping AGIs and applying rent control to ALL rental units. (specifically ones first occupied after November 2018).
  • An immediate rent relief program for tenants who are getting evicted or are at risk of eviction. Housing is Health!
  • An immediate eviction ban and a rent freeze which should include a freeze on Above the Guideline Rent increases.
  • An end to digital evictions through remote LTB hearings.

 

 

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