Ontario to launch audits of six municipalities’ housing finances

Ontario’s minister of municipal affairs and housing says he is moving forward with audits of six municipalities to see if there will be any “potential or perceived” financial hits from a provincial housing law.

Municipalities have been raising concerns about a housing law, that, in part, freezes, reduces and exempts fees developers pay on certain builds such as affordable housing.

Those fees go to municipalities to pay for infrastructure to support new homes, such as roads and sewers, and they say the provincial changes will leave them $5 billion short.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark has expressed some skepticism about the impacts, and in late November he announced he would launch third-party audits of “select” municipalities.

Today Clark announced that he’s looking for auditors to go over the books of Toronto, Newmarket, Peel Region, Mississauga, Caledon and Brampton _ the latter three are part of the upper-tier municipality of Peel Region.

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A statement from Clark does not explain why he chose those municipalities, but says the province will ensure there is no funding shortfall “for housing-enabling infrastructure” as a result of the law, as long as municipalities meet the housing targets he assigned them.

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