Toronto mayor maps out issues for housing meeting

Houses are seen in a suburb located north of Toronto in Vaughan Canada

"What we are trying to do today is to work collaboratively to make sure we are getting at measures that can actually deal with that potentially speculative behaviour", Morneau said. "Intervention in a cyclical market like housing is often fraught with peril as policies must be able to work in a strong and weak markets". Its implementation in August "coincided with the first weakening in annual price growth in more than three years", he added.

"Ultimately at the end of the day, you probably end up in a situation where the market absorbs the tax and keeps pushing higher", said BMO economist Robert Kavcic.

"The problem is red tape in the development industry and we just are not producing the units we need so the units that are available people are paying out-of-world prices to get those", he said.

Not everyone is happy about expanded rent control. He introduced a private member's bill weeks ago which would have done the same thing as the Liberal's plan.

A spokesperson for Minister of Housing and Poverty Reduction Chris Ballard said the rules do not apply to rent increase notices given before Thursday April 20.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday sought to dispel any notion that Ontario's proposed homebuyers' tax is a sign the country is shunning foreign investment.

- With files from The Canadian Press.

With its 16-point plan, the government is "hoping they have it right, but they don't really know", says Moscovitch.

"They're politically popular for the premier", he told reporters. "We could have found a real practical alternative.so that this didn't occur and so that we still have room for different people renting".

"I think, and most people would think, that they should be able to live in a place they can afford and not have to worry about suddenly facing insane rent".

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A "housing supply team" of provincial officials will be struck to find ways to streamline the building of new homes.

Do you trust the Ontario government can avoid unintended consequences in its housing intervention?

The government is also planning to expand the province's existing rent control system to cover all tenants, ending the exemption that now allows unlimited rent increases, it added. I am pleased that the government will activate surplus provincial land like the West Don Lands to create new affordable housing, something I have been urging the Premier to do for some time.

Sousa discussed vacancy rates that are constraining supply at a meeting this week with the federal finance minister and Toronto Mayor John Tory, who has been talking about a vacant homes tax.

Vancouver's empty homes tax is one per cent of the value of the property and it applies to homes that aren't being used as a principal residence or aren't rented out for at least six months of the year.

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Ontario's Fair Housing Plan includes an additional 12 measures, such as introducing a targeted $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges. Possible steps include taxing homes left empty for speculative purposes, Tory said. "The new tax will slow down the market a bit, as it did in Vancouver".

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