Could some big reforms be on the way for GTA housing policy?


by Steve Randall

22 Oct 2018


As Torontonians head to the polls Monday (Oct 22), new thinking on housing policy could be ahead.

A poll conducted by the Toronto Real Estate Board asked candidates in the municipal elections about housing-related issues has received more than 200 responses.

The results show willingness among candidates to make some reforms to GTA housing policy and to stand against some proposals:

  • 95% of responding candidates in Toronto, and 86% of responding GTA candidates, indicated that, if elected, they would advocate for updating municipal zoning by-laws and policies to encourage more medium density housing.
  • 85% of responding Toronto candidates indicated that they would be willing to consider reforms to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax to adjust it for inflation. 84% of responding GTA candidates indicated that they would, if elected, oppose proposals for any new municipal land transfer tax.
  • 85% of responding Toronto candidates, and 79% of responding GTA candidates, indicated that they would support efforts to reduce planning approval times and red tape to facilitate new housing supply.
  • 97% of responding Toronto candidates, and 96% of responding GTA candidates, indicated that they would, if elected, advocate for funding from senior levels of government for infrastructure investments.

What TREB wants councils to do
TREB is calling for key areas of housing policy to be addressed by councils.

These include reviewing zoning to allow for more mid-density homes and work with neighbourhoods to see these developments realized; prevent new land transfer taxes in the rest of the GTA and reform Toronto’s tax to adjust the first-time buyer rebate and the threshold at which it applies to bring them in line with the current average Toronto home price ($800K); streamline planning approval; and recognize the importance of infrastructure as it relates to housing affordability and supply.