Erskine-Smith unveils bold plan to build housing and deliver generational fairness

"We can't afford more NIMBYism"

TORONTO (12 June 2023) – Nate Erskine-Smith, leadership candidate for the Ontario Liberal Party and MP for Beaches—East York, unveiled an ambitious plan to build housing and deliver generational fairness.

“Ontario is not building enough housing to keep pace with our growing population. The current provincial government is embracing sprawl and does not have a serious plan to address housing affordability in this province,” he said.

“To make matters worse, many municipalities have failed to fill this void, rejecting housing applications for political rather than sound public-policy reasons. Mississauga, for example, built less than 16,000 homes from 2012 to 2021, becoming the only major city in Canada to shrink during the last census,” Erskine-Smith explained.

“We see this issue across the province. For instance, the city of Ottawa needs to increase their homebuilding by 157% to reach their provincial target, the average price of a home in the GTA is over $1.15 million dollars, and Northern communities like Sault Ste. Marie, Kenora, Nipissing, and Cochrane have nearly double the homelessness rates than some of the largest municipalities in Ontario, in part due to the lack of affordable housing in those areas,” the OLP leadership candidate said.

“Ontarians are facing a massive housing crisis and deserve serious action. We need provincial leadership, an ambitious goal, and competent action to deliver housing affordability. We can’t afford more NIMBYism,” he said. “Hard work should be rewarded with a place to call home.”

This four-point plan will:

  1. End exclusionary zoning, and remove barriers to smart and sustainable growth;

  2. Build and protect public-minded and affordable rental housing;

  3. Treat housing as a home first and an investment second; and

  4. Deliver provincial leadership, in partnership with other levels of government.

“Fifty years ago, it took a young person five years to save up a 20% down payment for an average home. When Premier Ford was elected, it took 15 years. Now it takes 22 years across Ontario, and 27 years in the GTA,” Erskine-Smith said.

“This is obviously a generational fairness challenge. It is also a challenge to our economic productivity. With home ownership out of reach and rents on the rise, young people are leaving their home communities and our province,” he said.