Ontario NDP, PCs promise to boost housing supply through differing measures

Ontario's New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives are both promising to build 1.5 million homes in 10 years as the province grapples with a dearth of supply and ballooning prices.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath touted her housing plan today -- first released in November 2020, it has since been updated to include home equity loans to help first-time buyers with a down payment.

On supply, the New Democrats say the 1.5 million homes would be a mix of starter homes, purpose-built rentals and affordable housing units, achieved in part by ending exclusionary zoning.

Changing municipal zoning rules to allow more types of housing to be built aside from single-family homes was a key recommendation from a housing affordability task force report that was commissioned by the Progressive Conservative government.

The Tories pledged to use the report as the basis for their long-term housing strategy, but legislation earlier this year failed to include that measure and several other key recommendations -- something the municipal affairs and housing minister blamed on a lack of municipal co-operation.

The Liberals have not yet released their housing plan, but Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca criticized the Tory plan for a lack of help for renters and first-time home buyers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2022.