Ontario government scraps rent control & Toronto doesn't like it
Sunday Dec 09th, 2018
Ontario Premier Doug Ford's first-ever fiscal roadmap could have sweeping implications across all aspects of life for almost everyone in the province.
Those who earn the most money, for example, no longer have to worry about paying extra income taxes (something proposed by the previous Liberal government that would have generated about $275-million for Ontario).
Renters, on the other hand, could eventually end up paying way, way more to live in the city.
Effective November 15, 2018, rent control rules will no longer apply to new (as in previously unoccupied) housing units. Rent control will, however, be preserved for existing tenants. So, um, don't move.
The government says that this measure will help address the current housing shortage - or in Toronto's case, the affordable housing crisis - by encouraging developers to build more rental units.
"Rent control policies that weaken investment incentives and construction activity have played a role in limiting supply growth in purpose-built rental housing," reads part of Ontario's Plan for the People.
"Part of this initiative will be the re-introduction of the rent control exemption that will apply to new rental units first occupied after today," it continues.
"This will help create market-based incentives for supply growth that will encourage an increase in housing supply to meet the needs of the people of Ontario."
Experts say otherwise, arguing that scrapping any form of rent control will effectively serve to drive people out of their homes.
"There is no empirical evidence that rent control affects rental housing development one way or another," said Federation of Metro Tenants' Association executive Geordie Dent to the Toronto Star.
"When rent control was gutted by Mike Harris in 1997, we were promised thousands and thousands of new units. They did not materialize," he said, pointing instead to all of the "economic evictions" he saw under the Harris government.
Ending rent control on newly-built units, as outlined in the Progressive Conservatives' 2018 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review, will affect no city more than the province's biggest city, say some Toronto residents.