Some say exemption for new units would boost supply, others argue there’s no evidence
With the province scrapping rent control for new units across Ontario, affordable housing advocates are cautioning the changes could mark a return to sky-high rent increases for thousands of Toronto tenants.
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The Progressive Conservative government revealed the details on Thursday through the fall economic statement, announcing legislation which ends rent control for all newly-built or newly-converted rental units going forward — while maintaining rent control for current tenants — as part of a new Housing Supply Action Plan.
“Everybody who’s an existing tenant today is protected… but the challenge for the future is, there is no supply,” said Finance Minister Vic Fedeli at Queen’s Park.
Ending rent control could be the only way to fix that, according to Benjamin Tal, a deputy chief economist at CIBC who supports the province’s changes. “We have to encourage builders to build purpose-driven rental apartments,” he said. “The only way to do it is to allow them to charge increased rent.”