The most popularly addressed points thus far seem to be the 15% foreign buyer tax, expanding rent control, allowing Toronto to impose a tax on vacant homes and using surplus lands for affordable housing.
Foreign buyer tax - The Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) is a 15% tax added onto all purchasers who are non-residents, don’t have permanent residence or are foreign corporations. Refugees and nominees would not be subject to the tax and those who receive citizenship or permanent residency will be given a rebate. The goal is to make housing more affordable and available. The tax will fall on Single Family Residences (Semi-detached, Townhouse, etc.) while leaving apartment buildings, agricultural, commercial/industrial land without one.
Rent Control - All private rental units built after 1991 will now undergo a rent increase cap which will be found in the annual provincial guidelines. The maximum increase is now 2.5%. However, landlords can still use vacancy decontrol (set rent at market or near market levels when a unit is vacant and regulates the raising of rent) and use the increase when permitted.
Using extra land for more affordable housing - The new laws will create a program to use the extra land and develop a mix of market and new housing for more sustainable and affordable housing for all. Proposed sites for this initiative have already been identified to ensure that there are more affordable rentals and units with better ownership potential.
Taxes on vacant homes - They are looking to put a tax on owners with vacant homes to encourage them to sell or rent them out to avoid having them sit there vacant on purpose.
Other parts of the new plan speak to:
Having a stronger Residential Tenancy Act with clearer terminology
Similar property taxes on new multi-residential apartment buildings as other residential properties
A new housing supply team to identify barriers to specific housing development projects to find solutions with developers
Educating consumers on their rights...and the list goes on.
Depending on what side of the spectrum one is on these new rules could be a positive or negative thing. I think the main questions that are top of mind for most people include: "Will this bring more harm than help?",
and "How long will it take for these changes to have the impact they are looking for and how much negative impact will it have at first?"
What do you think?