Ottawa Construction News staff writer
The Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) has joined other Ontario Home Builders Association (OHBA) members in welcoming Bill 97, the Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants Act, the latest provincial Housing Supply Action Plan and proposed updates to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS).
“The government’s newest Housing Supply Action Plan takes important steps to incentivize the construction of purpose-built rental,” GOHBA president Patrick Daniels said in an April 6 statement. “Increasing the amount of rental housing across Ottawa is crucial to making rents more affordable.”
According to housing economist Will Dunning, Ottawa saw just over 25,000 high density dwelling units completed from 2006 to 2021 (high density units are typically rental apartments). However, based on its actual population and household growth over that time period, Ottawa needed over 31,000 high density units. Therefore Ottawa currently has a deficit of over 6,000 high density housing units.
“Considering the undersupply of apartments up to now, we need to increase rental supply by more than 25 per ceent over the next 15 years,” said Daniels. “So we welcome the provincial government taking these steps to streamline the construction and revitalization of rental housing while protecting tenants.”
As part of the latest edition of their Housing Supply Action Plan, the provincial government is also proposing a new single planning policy document – combining A Place to Grow (which applies to the Greater Golden Horseshoe) with the Provincial Policy Statement (which applies to the rest of the province) into a new “Provincial Planning Statement”.
The PPS is a comprehensive, whole-of-government policy direction on land use planning matters, including growth management and housing.
“It’s critical that the Provincial Policy Statement be updated to ensure Ontario positions itself correctly during the current housing supply crisis, so we can increase both the supply and diversity of housing in Ottawa and across the province,” said GOHBA executive director Jason Burggraaf.
“Ottawa City Council just signed a Housing Pledge to do its part to meet the current housing supply and affordably crisis by providing the opportunity to build 151,000 new homes locally over the next 10 years. Updating the PPS will help all levels of government to align their efforts on this goal.”