General News

County Council has concerns over Bill 23

November 17, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

With the push to increase housing in Ontario, the Provincial government is planning some big changes that has Simcoe County Council raising concerns.

Bill 23, known as the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, is designed to increase the housing supply throughout Ontario with a goal to build 1.5 million homes in the next ten years.

There are many significant changes proposed by the Bill, including removing all legislated planning responsibilities from the County, changes to development charges which will result in less revenue to fund the costs of growth-related infrastructure, a diminished role for conservation authorities, and change to the natural heritage act.

These changes will fundamentally alter the way development approval processes are conducted, natural heritage resources are protected, how growth is coordinated on a regional scale, and how growth-related capital infrastructure is paid for.

While the County supports the province’s stated objective, it is very concerned that if Bill 23 is passed as currently proposed, a variety of significant unintended consequences will have the opposite effect and will delay or obstruct the construction of additional housing supply at the scale that is desired.

An immediate impact is the proposed removing of Housing Services as an eligible development charge. This may slow down and even prevent critical social housing projects from being completed.

If no other funding is provided by the province to offset the revenue loss, the County will need to borrow for these projects.

This will result in a minimum four to five per cent increase in property taxes to pay it back.



         


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