Published on February 8, 2022 by the Toronto Star
It wasn’t long ago housing for hard-working Ontarians — teachers, construction workers, small business owners — was within their reach. Housing prices have almost tripled in the last 10 years, far outpacing income growth.
If we’re willing to be bold and act quickly, there is a clear path out of the housing crisis that is putting home ownership out of reach for far too many among us.
We all know someone living with the personal and financial stress of not being able to afford housing or who is experiencing it themselves. While the affordability crisis began in our large cities, it has now spread to smaller towns and rural communities.
Some of our most vulnerable communities suffer disproportionately from this phenomenon — young people, new immigrants, Black and Indigenous Peoples in Ontario. The high cost of housing has pushed many Ontarians farther and farther away from job markets, leaving business of all sizes struggling to hire.
Quite simply, we are not building enough homes to meet the needs of our growing population. Delays, red tape, and uncertainty add to the cost of building new homes and all those costs are passed on to buyers and renters.
Two months ago, Premier Doug Ford and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark created Ontario’s Housing Affordability Task Force. Our mandate was clear: deliver concrete, actionable recommendations that will make housing more affordable. And there was no time to waste.