Statement by Minister Clark on National Housing Day
Today, Steve Clark, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued this statement in recognition of National Housing Day:
"Twenty years ago, National Housing Day was declared after municipalities, members of the public and community agencies across the country called on all levels of government to take action on housing - specifically community housing.
People said "What can we do to help those in need of a safe and affordable home?" Answering that question is something our government cares deeply about. And while the full answer is complex, at its core it's simple: we need more housing.
Building more housing will help Ontario create good jobs across the province. Employees need affordable places to live and getting shovels in the ground will bring more construction jobs to Ontario.
But the road to building more housing has been challenging after a decade of mismanagement by the previous government. There is too much red tape that is choking the system - from complex approval requirements, to high costs and government fees. We need that to change.
Our government for the people promised we would remove the barriers to home ownership. My ministry in particular is taking concrete action, we are consulting with the people of Ontario about how the government can remove those barriers and build the right kind of housing in the right places. Their ideas will help us create a housing action plan to boost housing supply.
We know all housing is important. We also need to work together to sustain critical community housing, to repair and renew aging buildings and to maintain the financial viability of housing providers across Ontario. On this National Housing Day, I want to stress to you as the Minister responsible, that we are committed to fixing the mess left by years of neglect.
National Housing Day began as a call for all levels of government to do more about housing. I agree - we need to work in partnership with our municipal and development partners. They are big financial contributors, and they are on the front lines, helping people every day. Our government is committed to making a difference. This commitment includes working collaboratively with my colleagues in other ministries.
However, the federal government needs to step up. Their National Housing Strategy barely maintains the status quo. I believe they must do more. If we are going to renew Ontario's housing stock and provide the housing people across Ontario need, the federal government needs to invest more.
I believe we all have a role to play when it comes to maintaining and building more housing in our communities. Today, let's reflect on how important it is to have housing that is affordable for the people of Ontario. Housing that meets their needs and offers more choice for their families. The people of Ontario should expect nothing less."