February 28, 2020 11:30 A.M.
QUINTE WEST — Ontario is reducing red tape to help communities across the province build more homes for families and create a more competitive business environment. We are taking these steps to help fix the affordable housing crisis left by the previous government.
Today, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, was in Quinte West to launch the new Provincial Policy Statement (PPS). The PPS sets the rules for land use planning in Ontario and guides decision-making to manage growth and development, while protecting the environment, public health and safety.
Changes to the PPS were informed by feedback from municipalities, stakeholders and the public. The changes will:
- give municipalities greater flexibility and control over local decision-making to support new housing and economic development
- encourage more and different types of housing
- help ensure an adequate supply of land on which to build more housing.
These changes will not impact the Greenbelt, ensuring that it will continue to be protected for future generations.
“We are making it easier for families to find homes that meet their needs and their budgets in vibrant, thriving communities,” said Minister Clark. “Over the past 15 years, homeownership and housing that is affordable have become out of reach for far too many people and our government is taking decisive steps to change that.”
“This new Provincial Policy Statement will give municipalities in Bay of Quinte and across Ontario flexible land use planning tools that will allow them to find the right mix of housing development and business opportunities,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Member of Provincial Parliament for Bay of Quinte. “Our government has listened to our municipal partners. We will continue to work alongside them to develop an environment that fosters continued economic growth and prosperity.”
The Provincial Policy Statement was updated following a 90-day consultation with municipalities and stakeholders including development and business, aggregates and resources, agriculture, environment and planning sectors, as well as the public. The government also undertook direct engagement with Indigenous communities.
“I am thankful for Minister Clark and the provincial government’s continued engagement with municipalities. It is evident that they are listening and giving us more flexibility and control over local decision-making to support new housing and economic development,” said Jim Harrison, Mayor of Quinte West.
In addition to updating the PPS, the government is continuing consultations on the new community benefits charge that will provide a new way for municipalities to fund community benefits, such as parks, daycares and affordable housing, making the costs of building homes more predictable and ensuring that growth continues to pay for growth. Feedback is due by March 30, 2020.
“As the collective voice of Ontario’s public libraries, the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (FOPL) applauds the Ontario Government’s proposal to include public library capital costs as a fully cost-recoverable eligible service under the Development Charges Act,” said Julie Merritt, Chair of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries. “We welcome the Ontario Government’s unequivocal recognition of the role that public libraries perform as critical community infrastructure in municipalities of all sizes across the province, and the importance of ensuring that municipalities are able to collect the development charges needed to help maintain strong, sustainable public libraries for current and future residents alike.”
- As a part of More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, the government committed to reviewing the PPS and the way municipalities collect funds for community benefits, such as parks, daycares and affordable housing, in growing communities.
- Updates to the PPS align with A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and recommendations from the province’s Special Advisor on Flooding.
- The Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 will come into effect on May 1, 2020.
- In June 2019, Ontario launched over 140 days of consultation to gather input from municipalities, builders and the public on the new approach to funding community services. The first round of consultations on the community benefits charge also included technical working groups with municipalities and home builders.