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Ford government set to table latest housing supply legislation

Premier Doug Ford’s government is set to release the province’s latest housing plan Wednesday, as it faces pushback for considering counting student dorms toward its target supply of new homes.

Minister of Housing Paul Calandra is expected to table housing-related legislation around 1 p.m. ET, with a news conference scheduled for 1:30 p.m at Queen’s Park. Calandra’s office says the legislation will “cut red tape” to get more homes built.

You can watch the news conference live in this story.

The government set a goal of constructing 1.5 million new homes by 2031 to alleviate a severe housing crunch that has contributed to high real estate prices and rents.

Private-sector forecasts included in Ontario’s 2024 budget show that while the pace of home building has picked up, it is still far off the levels needed to reach the provincial target.

By the Progressive Conservative government’s own count, it actually met 99 per cent of last year’s target of building 110,000 homes, but that is only because they started counting long-term care beds as homes and nearly 10,000 of those were created last year.

Meanwhile, Calandra wrote in a letter to Mississauga’s acting mayor last month that the ministry is tracking housing starts as defined by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in addition to counting long-term care beds, but it is also now looking at counting more types of units.

“We will continue to explore data sources for tracking the numbers of other institutional types of housing such as student residences and retirement homes for future program years and commit to engaging municipalities on the same,” he wrote.

At the legislature on Tuesday, opposition party leaders said the move is an attempt to inflate housing numbers as the government falls off track to reach its target.

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