27 févr. 2024

Queen’s Park Day 2024

Ontario Habitats press for changes to the HST that will provide more affordable housing

In Ontario, 24 local Habitats serve families in cities, towns and rural areas including the North, and have a unique ability to deliver affordable housing province-wide. 6,500 Ontarians have benefitted from affordable homeownership in more than 1,700 Habitat homes, the majority moving from rental or social housing to the security of owning a home through a geared-to-income mortgage.

While the province experiences an unprecedented housing crisis, it’s crucial the entire affordable housing spectrum — including Habitat’s affordable homeownership program — is given the tools to build more homes and serve more people in Ontario. With that goal in mind, provincial Habitat leaders gathered at Queen’s Park to press Members of Provincial Parliament for policy changes that will allow Habitat to increase its impact and serve more families.

Habitat at Queens Parks

During a day of meetings with MPPs, including leaders of each political party, Habitat’s most urgent policy recommendation was the removal of HST on purpose-built, non-profit affordable housing. In Ontario, when Habitat builds a new home for a qualified family in need of housing, it pays anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 in rural areas, to $70,000 to $80,000 in the Greater Toronto Area, in HST.

Removing this cost could represent less than 0.1% of total government revenue from home sales, yet significantly increase Habitat’s ability to serve families. In the GTA, for example, HST relief would mean that for every 100 homes Habitat builds, it could build 13 more.

The message was well received, with many legislators acknowledging Habitat’s important role in helping to address the province’s housing crisis. Ontario Habitat leaders look forward to continuing to work with the provincial government in reducing the unnecessary costs of building affordable homes for working families.