May 15, 2023 in Announcements

Furey: Let’s Swap Red Tape for Market Solutions and Build Housing Now

Furey: Let’s Swap Red Tape for Market Solutions and Build Housing Now

Action plan would connect landlords, builders and investors to relieve Toronto’s housing crisis

NEWS – May 15, 2023

TORONTO – Our City needs both regulatory and market-driven reforms to get new housing shovels in the ground immediately – not five or ten years from now when it’s too late, Mayoral Candidate Anthony Furey said today.

“Estimates are Ontario will need 1.5 million new homes over the next 10 years, chiefly owing to Ottawa’s expanded immigration quotas,” Furey noted. ”And most of those new arrivals will come to Toronto.

“That’s great for our labour shortage – but not if they have nowhere to live.

“Last week’s vote by City Council to approve so-called “multiplexes”[1] is a start, and I support it,” Furey stressed. “But this City Hall is notorious for approving all sorts of things. And then, owing to red tape and social tinkering, nothing happens for years. We don’t have that kind of time.”

To meet that need, Furey tabled a package of measures to re-incentivize all players in the industry to get that housing built now. These include:

  • helping connect business and investors with landlords as venture partners
  • abolishing the widely-criticized “Rent Safe” program – initially promoted by Councillor Josh Matlow – which relies on annual City audits rather than current work orders to judge a building’s safety and fitness for tenants, leaving renter information completely out-of-date, and
  • an end to treating good landlords the same as bad ones, by creating a “Trusted Landlord” registry for faster approvals

“We don’t have enough housing for our existing citizens, let alone for the wave of newcomers heading our way,” Furey concluded. “It’s time to bring market forces back into the marketplace, if we’re going to confront this crisis.”


Mike Bendixen | Senior Media Advisor
The Anthony Furey for Mayor Campaign
Telephone: 416-951-6397

Furey: We Can Fix This!

The Issue: Confronting the Housing Crisis with Market-based Solutions

Here’s what’s wrong with the way things are:

Earlier this year, Ottawa announced a startling increase in immigration targets, which would see Canada welcome 500,000 newcomers per year. That’s much higher than in comparable countries such as Australia. And we know that Toronto absorbs a huge share of those new arrivals. Critics say there’s been no analysis of the impact of this influx on things like the health care system – and the availability of housing[2].

At the same time, our City is struggling with an existing housing crisis. Where is everyone going to live?

Last week, City Council finally got around to addressing part of the problem, by approving so-called “multiplex” housing in places now set aside for single-family dwellings. It’s a regulatory start, and I support it. But experience has shown that through red tape, bureaucratic inertia and “progressive” social engineering, past such approvals have taken years to become a reality – if they ever do.

Here’s what I’m going to do to fix it:

As Mayor, I will enact a package of market-based reforms to speed the construction of rental housing (see previous) by incentivizing the private sector.

The need for this approach is overwhelming: According to a joint February report by the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario[3], new construction of purpose-built rentals[4] in the GTA over the past decade fell to just nine percent of the total, versus 89 percent from condos (which can be rented out). The report argues that “the vast majority of rental demand can be absorbed through new purpose-built rentals.”

Here’s what the benefits will be for the people of Toronto:

Easing the housing supply crisis. Bringing much more efficient market mechanisms to bear on the issue. Incentives for new purpose-built housing construction. But above all, places for people to live.

[1] Defined as multiple dwellings in places previously reserved for single-family homes
[2] “There’s been no assessment that I have seen of the impact of these targets on housing affordability and availability, no assessment of these targets in terms of additional pressures on health care.” – former high-ranking Immigration and Citizenship Canada official Andrew Griffith, CBC, January 13, 2023
[3] Purpose-Built Rental Housing in the Greater Toronto Area – February 9, 2023
[4] Defined as housing built specifically for long-term rental accommodation