Toronto region homebuilders have joined their colleagues in the province and from across the country in building out an economic recovery plan as the most severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ebb.
The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), which represents builders and home renovators in the Greater Toronto Area, recently submitted a 20-point plan to the Ontario government that was developed along with the Ontario Home Builders Association (OHBA) and Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA).
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The plan was submitted to the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, a group of ministers chaired by Minister of Finance Rod Phillips, tasked in early April with stimulating economic growth and job creation in the province when the pandemic?s effects subside.
As key tenets of their plan, BILD, OHBA and CHBA recommended transferring mortgage tenancy to the date of occupancy for new-build condos, halting municipal increases to development charges and Property Tax Reassessment, and eliminating security deposits for Ontario Land Transfer Tax on affiliated transfers.
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?With all levels of government facing financial challenges and funding requests, we are providing ideas that will unlock consumer and industry construction investments that will kick-start the economy,? said OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro.
?As the industry continues to enhance health and safety on jobsites, we are now making recommendations that will support economic development with more housing choice and employment opportunities that will support consumers and businesses during the recovery program,? he continued.
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The plan also highlighted a need to balance initiatives that support growth in housing supply with measures that will help homebuyers enter the market.
?To help stimulate economic growth and keep Canadians properly housed, we will need to foster housing supply while also ensuring demand-side measures are adjusted to reflect the times,? said CHBA CEO Kevin Lee.
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?Accordingly, we recommend 30-year amortizations for insured mortgages, and adjusting the mortgage stress test for both insured and uninsured mortgages. Removing the GST on new homes purchased for 2020 and 2021 would also be a timely catalyst for new home construction,? he added.
Coincidentally, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) late last week announced new rules set to come into effect on July 1st that will tighten mortgage lending standards at the national level. The CHBA criticized the move in a press release, characterizing it as limiting opportunities for new buyers to enter the market when the economy is looking toward investment.