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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Homebuyers And Tenants To Be Protected

Toronto | by Al Parrish  

Premier's plan includes foreign buyer tax and expanding rent control.

Premier Kathleen Wynne held a press coference with Charles Sousa, Finance Minister, and Chris Ballard Minister of Housing to announce the "Fair Housing Plan". It's aimed at cooling the overheated GTA housing market.

She says "It's about helping people", and is meant to address a "changed situation" with housing prices having risen over 30% in the last year.

The Premier notes that there are no "levers to pull" that would change the market and that she doesn't want the government to try to do that. She says, this is a matter of offering incentives to get the market to move in a better direction.

The 16 measures are:

1. 15% foreign speculators' tax

2. Expanding rent control to all private rental units

3. Protecting tenants and ensuring predictability for landlords

4. Use of surplus provincial land to develop a mix of market housing and new, permanent, sustainable and affordable housing

5. Encouraging property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them

6. Property taxes for new multi-residential apartment at similar rates to other residential properties

7. A $125 million 5 year plan for new construction using rebates of development charges

8.  Use of property tax to unlock development opportunities; impose higher tax on vacant land approved for new housing

9. Identify barriers to specific housing development projects

10. Stop "paper flipping"  -- contractual agreements to buy and assign prior to closing

11. Asure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions - stop double ending

12. Gather ongoing advice about the state of the housing market

13. Educating consumers on their rights

14. Check reporting requirements so taxes, including income and sales taxes, are paid

15. Making elevators in Ontario buildings more reliable

16. Better reflect the needs of a growing Greater Golden Horseshoe
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