The Ontario government announced a new housing policy Thursday that will make it easier for renters to access subsidized, affordable housing.
But critics of the plan say it does little to tackle the province’s real estate crisis and will make more people homeless.
The government says it will give renters a new tool to rent.
“The new policy will ensure that low- and moderate-income renters have access to a safe, secure and affordable home and that they can continue to afford their housing costs,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said in a statement.
“We’re building on our housing plan to help people buy homes that they want, while still providing housing to those who are in need.”
The Ontario Real Estate Board said the new policy is aimed at making it easier to rent and that the number of rental homes under construction is “lower than it was” during the economic downturn.
But there’s a long history of housing crisis in Ontario, and experts say the government’s plan could only make things worse.
In 2011, Ontario’s then-premier Dalton McGuinty introduced a plan to bring back subsidized housing, but it was rejected by the legislature.
A year later, the Liberals took over, and McGuintys plan was scaled back, as he tried to build a new party.
A year later came the housing crisis, as more than 1,000 people were homeless by the end of 2015.
Many of those people were young people who had just graduated from high school.
Many people were working full-time jobs to make ends meet, and many were unemployed.
“The housing crisis was a very serious issue in Ontario,” said Dr. Michael McVety, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Graduate School of Public Health.
“It had a very significant impact on the lives of the young people, and it affected many seniors who were struggling financially.
They were struggling to support their families and their families were struggling.”
The province is aiming to provide affordable housing to 100,000 more people in 2020, but experts say it’s not enough.
Renters have a right to a place to live, they should have access, they shouldn’t have to rely on someone else for help, McVony said.
“That’s the reality of this crisis,” he said.
McVony also pointed out that Ontario has a shortage of homes.
“This is an opportunity for us to try to make it affordable for the whole province to live in housing that’s built to last,” he added.
“And we should do it in a way that we can afford.”
Ontario’s government said the changes will help low-income earners and first-time buyers.
But many critics are concerned the government is trying to solve a problem that has nothing to do with housing.
They also want to know why the government wants to use government money to help pay for a government-owned property, rather than investing in a private one.
The government’s announcement comes just weeks after the Ontario government sold the historic and historic-looking downtown Toronto Eaton Centre to a company that is run by former Toronto mayor Rob Ford.
Ford was a vocal critic of the sale.
After the sale, Ford announced he would run for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party.