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Ontario dedicates $45 million to streamline housing construction


January 21, 2022
By Bill Tremblay


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Ontario housingPremier Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, met with big city mayors and regional chairs to discuss housing. (Photo: Province of Ontario)

Ontario has announced more than $45 million for a new Streamline Development Approval Fund.

The money will be used to help Ontario’s 39 largest municipalities modernize, streamline and accelerate processes for managing and approving housing applications.

In January, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, met with mayors and regional chairs from Ontario’s largest municipalities to discuss housing and coordinate efforts to increase the supply of homes across the province.

The virtual summit provided provincial-municipal leaders with an opportunity to share best practices, identify persistent issues and collaborate on ways to build the right mix of housing.

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“Young families, seniors and all hardworking Ontarians are desperate for housing that meets their needs and budget,” said Premier Doug Ford. “At a time when our province is growing, our government will continue to use every tool we have to help municipalities get more homes built faster to help more families realize the dream of home ownership.”

Municipalities can use the funding to implement online systems that make it easier for applicants to navigate the development approvals process, manage their applications and receive timely status updates.

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“Today’s Summit was an important next step to identify what additional measures we can take to increase the supply of housing and make it easier for Ontarians and their families to find a home that meets their needs and budget,” Clark said. “As we continue this dialogue, our government will ensure municipalities have the tools and resources they need to unlock housing in every community across Ontario.”

The government also announced over $8 million through the Audit and Accountability Fund to help large urban municipalities identify potential savings and efficiencies through third-party reviews to further accelerate the creation of new housing and modernize municipal services.

In a news release, the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) said it is encouraged the provincial government is taking a leadership role to help municipalities cut red tape and develop a data standard for planning and development applications.

“We are delighted that the government is moving to modernize and streamline the system and assist municipalities transition towards digital service delivery and approvals,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall.

“Municipalities need a standardized development approvals process and e-permitting system to help reduce the amount of time it takes to get housing projects approved in Ontario.