Nearly one year ago, we asked on our blog if Doug Ford would fix the Missing Middle conundrum and address housing affordability. Following the release of Bill 108, we now have an answer.
While Bill 108–the set of legislative changes required to realize the provincial government’s new Housing Supply Action Plan–supports positive yet minor measures like secondary units and laneway housing, on the whole it does not meaningfully and systematically target Missing Middle supply or housing affordability.
In our response to Bill 108, sent to Minister Steve Clark, we detail the reasons we believe Bill 108 is in essence a mechanism to deliver greater power and opportunity to the development industry, with potentially harmful (and costly) consequences to the environment, climate change readiness, heritage, parks, municipal finances and community infrastructure.
We also express concern that, by proposing to revert back to abandoned rules for the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), the impact of the bill threatens to curtail the ability of communities to engage in processes and decision making regarding municipal development.
Ultimately, we can say little more on Bill 108 than what is already contained in the comprehensive report issued on May 18th by City Manager Chris Murray and Chief Planner Gregg Lintern, which contains 38 recommendations, is supported by City Council, and defines the issues with clarity and precision.
The Ryerson City Building Institute, with its submission, adds its name to the growing list of organizations that oppose Bill 108 and its focus on unfettered development across Ontario. As we’ve said dozens of times, more supply will not solve our housing affordability woes. Without appropriate policy checks on development, and careful application of zoning to provide the right supply in the right locations, a market-based plan intent on ratcheting up supply is sure to deliver more of the same “Tall and Sprawl” we’ve been seeing for years, with no guarantee of developer cost savings being passed on to people.