Ontario housing minister vows to boost rent control after CBC Toronto tenancy series

March 17, 2017

The Ontario housing minister vows that the province will soon unveil new "rental controls" to address the skyrocketing cost to lease a home in and around Toronto.

Minister Chris Ballard spoke about the upcoming changes on Thursday, following the announcement of an NDP private member's bill promising much the same thing — and a CBC Toronto series focusing on the fallout the limited safety net for renters has created for young professionals in this city.

"It's absolutely unacceptable that renters are facing the pressure that they're facing today," Ballard said in an interview with CBC Toronto's Dwight Drummond. "So we'll be bringing forward legislation that expands on the rent controls that are currently in place."

Staff within the housing ministry have been consulting with tenants and landlords across the province since Ballard took over the portfolio last spring, the minister said in an interview.

He couldn't commit as to when the changes to the Residential Tenancy Act could be tabled in the legislature, saying only that he's pushing his staff to have it ready shortly. 

1991 loophole

Ballard's comments come a few hours after NDP MPP Peter Tabuns said he would table a private member's bill that calls for an end to the so-called 1991 rule, which exempts property built after Nov. 1, 1991 from provincial rent control.

Younger renters and those in lower socioeconomic brackets appear especially vulnerable to the law's recent effects. They're being priced out of buying a home and pushed into a competitive rental market with a one per cent vacancy rate for condo apartments, something CBC Toronto documented in a series of profiles.

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