Ford government says it will bring forward legislation to freeze rent in 2021
A man carries a boxspring up a set of stairs on what has become known as "Moving Day," in Montreal, on July 1, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, August 28, 2020 5:03PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, August 29, 2020 2:59PM EDT
The Ford government says that it will bring forward rent control legislation so that the “vast majority” of tenants do not face increases in 2021.
Under existing legislation rent increases on units that had not been previously occupied prior to November, 2018 are capped, roughly at the rate of inflation.
The maximum allowable increase this year was supposed to have been 1.5 per cent but on Friday afternoon a spokesperson for Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark confirmed that legislation is forthcoming to “ensure that the vast majority of families do not see a rent increase next year.”
“Since the very beginning of COVID-19, our government has called on landlords and tenants to come together and be reasonable with each other – and landlords and tenants across the province have shown the Ontario spirit by doing just that. In that spirit, our government is announcing our intention to stabilize rents for Ontario’s 1.6 million rental households,” the statement reads.
The Ford government banned residential evictions earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic but earlier this month is began allowing the Landlord and Tenant Board to consider eviction requests again, something it has faced criticism for.
The statement released on behalf of Clark on Friday does not include any specific details about the forthcoming legislation to stabilize rent but does say that the government will “engage tenant and landlord groups” to ensure that it is “fair and balanced.”
“We know that families are continuing to be impacted by COVID-19. We know landlords have worked hard to be accommodating and have made sacrifices. And we know that by continuing to work together, we will move past this extraordinary time and increase housing – so that every Ontarian can find a home that suits their needs and their budget,” the statement reads.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said he is glad about the announcement and he is looking forward to learn more about the details of the legislation.
"At this point in time, the province is making the right decision to leave some more money in the hands of tenants," Tory said in a post on Twitter.