In: ConstructionNews

On November 2, 2023, the Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy, released the 2023 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Building a Strong Ontario Together that outlines how the government will help address ongoing economic uncertainty while building critical infrastructure in communities and laying a strong fiscal foundation for the future.

Highlights from the review include the following.

The review revealed that the Ontario government is removing the provincial portion (8 per cent) of HST on purpose-built rentals which includes apartment buildings, student housing, and senior residences built specifically for long-term rental. This will aim to increase rental unit construction and help people in Ontario find affordable places to live.

The report also revealed that an additional $100 million will be put into the Invest Ontario Fund to attract additional leading companies to the province and support businesses further.

A total of $200 million is being invested into the Enabling Water Systems Fund to help get new water and wastewater systems set up, which will help to efficiently build new housing units. This money will be invested over the course of three years.

It was also announced that there will be a $3-billion investment in a new Ontario Infrastructure Bank that will enable public-sector pension plans as well as other investors to invest in large-scale public infrastructure projects across Ontario, including affordable housing.

“We are in a housing supply crisis, so it is absolutely critical that we pull out all the stops to build more housing across the province,” said Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) president Richard Lyall following the release of the review. “We are in desperate need of all types of housing and anything that can be done to move the needle or bolster infrastructure that will support the construction of new homes across the province is certainly positive news.”

“Too many young people are leaving Ontario to pursue their careers elsewhere because of the housing affordability and supply crisis,” added Lyall. “More than 170,000 homes must be built each year over the next decade to restore housing affordability in Ontario. It is critical that governments continue to take action to remedy the problem. Failure is no longer an option.”

Nadia Todorova, executive director of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) said, “The critical infrastructure investments advanced in today’s Fall Economic Statement will provide thousands of high paying employment opportunities for our industry and help Ontario prosper by meeting its future infrastructure requirements.”

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