Financially stretched house-hunters competing for the Toronto region’s limited supply of housing won’t wake up this weekend to a drop in home prices or bidding wars thanks to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s 16-point Fair Housing Plan.
One of those lovely points is rent control which has never solved the problem of expensive houses and apartments but this time it'll be different!
“We’ve got 80,000 people a year moving into the city. We should have 30,000 new rental units a year coming on stream. Right now, and, over the last few years, the average has been 1,500,” said Jan De Silva of the Board of Trade.
Realtors and business experts say it will likely take months, maybe longer, before it’s clear whether the development charge breaks and other incentives Queen’s Park is dangling before developers of rental buildings will be enough to counteract the discouraging effects of extending rent control.
This is a major supply problem. Still, the top politician of the province just put policy in place which discourages new development of buildings. Why would someone invest millions of dollars in making rental properties today with uncertain future taxes and other costs but perpetually fixed low prices?
Worse such a policy leads to low-quality rentals and blatant discrimination. Landlords are not fond of pouring money into their houses or apartment when their revenue increase doesn't even cover inflation. A simple example of discrimination: I looked at a rental apartment and one of the requirements for applying for a lease was: you must have worked in Ontario for five consecutive years! Bye bye students, recent immigrants and rapefugees refugees. Furthermore, many people will continue to discriminate on the basis of sex (prefer females), race (Chinese) and age (25 minimum). That's the price for cheap rentals.