13.7 C
Kawartha Lakes
Saturday, April 20, 2024
No menu items!
HomeLocal CouncilPremier Announces New Provincial Housing Targets At AMO Conference

Premier Announces New Provincial Housing Targets At AMO Conference

KAWARTHA LAKES-Premier Doug Ford unveiled The Building Faster Fund at the 2023 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)Conference in London Ontario.

Premier Ford explained the program, “This is an incentive program that supports municipalities to build more homes. It’s a three-year, $1.2 billion program that will reward municipalities for reaching annual housing targets. In 2023, we want to achieve at least 110,000 new housing starts. It would be the first time in over three decades that Ontario surpassed the 100,000 threshold. From there, we’ll ramp up over time until we’re on track to build at least 1.5 million homes.”

Municipalities that reach 80 per cent of their target each year will be come eligible for a share of the total $440 million annual funding. In Kawartha Lakes, the target has been set by the province at 6,500 new homes by 2031. If municipalities exceed their targets, they will receive a financial bonus.

Premier Ford also announced that 21 municipalities projected to have populations of over 50,000 people by 2031, including Kawartha Lakes, will become eligible for strong mayor powers as long as the Mayor provides written confirmation to the province by October 15, 2023 that they pledge to meet their housing target. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has requested that municipalities provide a Housing Pledge by December 15, 2023 that showcases the strategies and actions that it will take in order to achieve their housing targets.

Mayor Doug Elmslie and Councillors Smeaton and Perry joined more than 2,000 participants form Augusto 20-23.

Elmslie commented, “We’re pleased there is funding available to support the critical infrastructure we need to support growth. One of the top priorities of our Council is housing, and we were working toward the target of 7,000 homes in 10 years. The province’s target of 6,500 in eight years will be challenging, but I believe it’s achievable. Most importantly, we need to build a range of housing types to suit all levels of affordability, and we must be able to support the needs of new and existing residents. We have staff confirming the numbers and we’ll have a discussion with Council at our next meeting. We’ll respond to the province well before the deadline.

With respect to strong mayor powers, I don’t envision the need to use it. Our Council is committed to housing and strong mayor powers should not be necessary to make the pledge to the target numbers. We have a cohesive Council and we passed our 2023 budget unanimously, which speaks to our aligned priorities.”

The 2023 Conference brought municipal leaders together with the Ontario government following a year of important legislative changes, many intended to tackle the province’s housing crisis. Housing continues to be a top priority for all municipal governments. This year’s event featured more than 60 speakers, sessions and workshops, reflecting the broad scope of municipal responsibilities.

Don't forget to sign up for our morning newsletter.

Catch up on all the local news while enjoying your coffee.

Most Popular

Kawartha 411