Message from Frances Zuccarini

Should the Fair Housing Plan do more to address supply?

Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan includes targeted measures to quell impacts from foreign buyers, but some real estate critics argue that more efforts should have been made to address supply and demand issues. “It’s hard to believe a small percentage of buyers are responsible for the massive appreciation of housing prices in the GTA over the past decade,” argued Fraser Institute analysts Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur in a recent Toronto Sun opinion piece. “Rather than focus on a small group of buyers, we should focus on ensuring government regulations don’t prevent the supply of new housing from meeting demand.” Filipowicz and Lafleur suggest that bureaucratic policies cause increased timelines for builders to obtain the appropriate permits and land rezoning, which stifles new developments. Yet, only one of the 16 measures in the Fair Housing Plan addresses new construction.