Attainable Housing Task Force
The Rural Ontario Municipal Association formed the Attainable Housing Task Force in April 2022 as the first step of its action plan, Opportunities For Rural Ontario in a Post-COVID World.
The Task Force is comprised of housing industry experts, municipal staff and ROMA Board members. Informed by a member survey, the Task Force looked for practical steps to address the rural housing crisis.
The final report identifies detailed recommendations to improve rural housing opportunities, including provincial regulatory amendments and collaboration and cooperation among all housing stakeholders.
Creative solutions are needed, often ones that provide municipalities with the flexibility and authority to craft approaches that are consistent with their communities’ aspirations while respecting the spirit of key pieces of legislation like the Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement. The current legislative, regulatory and policy regime for housing in Ontario contains many barriers that hamstring efforts by municipal governments and others in rural Ontario to implement well-designed solutions.
These solutions require collaborative action by multiple provincial ministries in concert with municipal governments. In some cases, the federal government can and should be involved. Many of the solutions proposed in this report can be implemented without significant financial expenditures by the Province.
These solutions do not require or expect that good land use principles be jettisoned, or that important protections for agricultural, forested areas, or resource-laden areas be set aside. Nor do they require that measures to protect the environment or meet the Province’s constitutional commitments to Indigenous. On the contrary, these solutions could well trigger an accelerated response to contemporary housing challenges over the next three to five years.