MPP Clark Outlines Next Steps in Ontario’s Housing Plan at AMO Conference
Province providing new fund & tools for municipalities to help build more homes faster
August 23, 2023
LONDON – Steve Clark, MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, attended the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference this week in London, Ontario, in his capacity as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. At the conference, MPP Clark outlined the next steps our government is taking to get shovels in the ground across the province – building on the success of the last two years, when housing starts in Ontario reached the highest level in three decades.
As Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, MPP Clark took a leading role at AMO, taking part in four multi-minister meetings and meeting with 13 municipal delegations as well as the Six Nations of the Grand River. He was one of four government speakers at the conference (along with Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Francophone Affairs Caroline Mulroney, and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones) and took part in a minister’s forum that involved questions from AMO delegates on Tuesday.
In his keynote address on Tuesday, MPP Clark announced that the province will be hosting a Housing Forum in Toronto in November, an opportunity for municipal representatives and other stakeholders to provide input into the province’s next Housing Supply Action Plan.
MPP Clark also announced that he intends to introduce legislation updating the definition of affordable housing in the coming legislative session to one that takes income into account, to support the building of homes that are truly affordable and reflect the ability of local households to pay for housing. He also confirmed that he will be announcing a slate of regional facilitators to review upper-tier governments in Durham, Halton, Niagara, Simcoe County, Waterloo and York by Sept. 11, 2023, to ensure local governance structures in these fast-growing regions are providing effective, efficient and accountable government.
In his address on Monday, Premier Ford announced a new three-year, $1.2 Building Faster Fund that will provide new funding for housing-enabling infrastructure in communities that meet and exceed their housing targets. Ten per cent of this funding will be reserved for small, northern and rural communities – including those in Leeds and Grenville – that have not received housing targets from the province. The premier also announced the extension of strong mayor powers to 21 additional municipalities, in addition to the 28 municipalities that have already received these powers.
The government has been working hard to tackle Ontario’s housing supply crisis and reach its target of 1.5 million homes by 2031. Efforts taken by the government include the introduction of four housing supply action plans, reforms to local governance and a commitment to work with municipalities to ensure Ontario receives its fair share of funding and support from the federal government, particularly when it comes to funding affordable and supportive housing. The government is committed to introducing a housing supply action plan every year for the next three years.
- At the AMO conference, Minister Jones announced that the province will restore $47 million in provincial annual base funding for public health units, which is the level previously provided under the 75 per cent provincial / 25 per cent municipal cost-share ratio.
- Our government is also providing local public health units an annual one per cent funding increase over the next three years so they can more effectively plan ahead and prepare. This will also allow time for the province to collaborate with municipalities on a longer-term sustainable funding agreement that will not put any additional financial burden on municipalities.
Office of Steve Clark, MPP
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes