Provincial Housing Legislation

Addressing the impacts of Provincial Bills 23 and 109.

Bill 23 and Bill 109

To improve housing supply and affordability, the Province of Ontario introduced sweeping changes through two pieces of legislation - Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 (approved on November 28, 2022) and Bill 109 More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 (approved on April 14, 2022). 

The town fully supports the intention to make housing more affordable for its growing population. However, the housing legislation creates significant administrative and funding challenges for the town.

On December 8, 2022, after receiving staff reports outlining concerns with Bill 23 and Bill 109, Oakville Town Council expressed concerns. With many of the changes resulting from the new housing legislations, Council passed a motion “that staff update Council and the public as they receive additional information on Bill 23, its impact on the community and provide clarification on commitments by the province and actions by the Federal Government to address all of Oakville’s concerns.”

Next steps

Town staff are waiting for the regulations of the housing legislation, which will help understand the full impacts these Bills will have to Oakville.   

Impact caused by new legislation

Based on the new assigned housing targets, 33,000 new residential units are coming to Oakville over 10 years. The town is required to approve two to three times more than what was built in the last decade. 

While the majority of new growth will be directed to Midtown Oakville, the Bronte GO area, Uptown Core and the Hospital District, the housing legislation also allows up to three residential units per lot in existing and new neighbourhoods.

The town has a legislated responsibility to abide by provincial housing targets. Midtown Oakville is one of 25 growth centres identified in the Provincial Growth Plan. The Government of Ontario is creating 1.5 million homes in the province over the next 10 years, and Oakville has no way to refuse the target it has been assigned.  

The town will lose a lot of revenue due to changes in development charges, community benefits charges and cash-in-lieu of parkland collected from developers to help pay for infrastructure (roads, parks, recreation amenities etc.). The town will seek the support of higher levels of government to address funding challenges. 

Due to a change in how the town can collect development charges and other funding tools from developers, the town could lose $237 million over 10 years, and $75 million cash-in-lieu of parkland over the next 10 years.

The new changes remove the town’s oversight on exterior design of new developments and some planning aspects related to developments with 10 or less units (e.g. stormwater management, environmental protections). 

Public appeals of minor variances have also been removed by the housing legislation. 

The legislation has capped the amount of parkland and/or cash in lieu of parkland that the town receives from developers, and the town stands to lose $75 million in cash-in-lieu of parkland over the next 10 years. The town also does not have a say as to the location of the parkland received. This is contrary to the Parks Plan 2031 strategy recently approved by Council where our aim was to have a ratio of at least 2.2 hectares per 1,000 people to provide greenspaces and enhance livability.  

There are also changes to heritage protection and more challenging timelines for heritage designation approvals. If the town is not able to complete heritage designation approvals within the shortened timeframe, almost 200 heritage properties currently of cultural heritage significance will have to come off of the Heritage Register, reducing the heritage-rich character of the town.

Many responsibilities previously carried out by Region of Halton and Conservation Halton (ecology, habitat, endangered species, stormwater management, floodplains and natural hazards management) are now delegated to the town’s planners. 

This means the town will require more resources to take on new responsibilities.