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Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing talks provincial housing strategy

Minister Steve Clark says there’s a need for a variety of different kinds of housing throughout the province, especially in rural areas.

“We need houses of all types. We need the missing middle,” Clark says in an exclusive interview with Vista Radio. “So, we need duplexes, triplexes, we need more purpose-built rentals. We need more family-sized condos. We need more single-family homes.”

Clark says helping municipalities create that variety in housing is one of the province’s main goals with the Housing Supply Action Plan, an initiative that began in 2019.

Minister Clark says he’s been speaking with representatives from small municipalities throughout Ontario recently, and based on those discussions, he wants to make the transition from the start of planning to the start of construction for housing projects take less time.

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“We need our government to continue to put measures in place that get shovels in the ground faster,” he says, “and that’s one of the big recommendations that’s come out of all of our meetings, is that we need to make sure that the planning, and the permitting, and the development approval process to get shovels in the ground, that we do everything we can to make that faster, so that ultimately, there’s more homes on the market.”

He says action is being taken to try and reduce the cost of home insurance in Ontario, with the goal of making rural home ownership more affordable. “The Attorney General, Doug Downey, announced that he was striking a provincial municipal technical working group,” Clark says, “to really drill down and put a plan in place to deal with that.” The announcement was made at a conference Minister Clark attended this week with the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), the rural branch of a provincial non-profit that advocates for issues municipalities face throughout the province.

Clark says the conference went extremely well. “I was very encouraged, leaving that conference,” he says, “that all three levels of government are working together.”

***With files from Steve Berard
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