Ford government says it's planning to freeze rental increases across Ontario

Aug 29 2020, 9:12 am

Doug Ford’s government says it is drafting legislation that will freeze the annual increase in rental prices for most of the province.

In a release shared by Toronto Mayor John Tory on Friday, the province said it has directed the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to develop legislation that would pause the rental increase for 2021.

Each year, the province sets the maximum allowable rent increases for the year to come for rent-controlled units. The increases are supposed to be tied to inflation and are automatically published in the Gazette. For 2021, a 1.5% increase would have been put in place.

“But this year is not like every year,” the province wrote in its release.

The government hopes a pause on the annual uptick will stabilize rents for Ontario’s 1.6 million rental households.

“The legislation would ensure that the vast majority of families do not see a rent increase next year,” the release adds.

No draft has been published at this time, and the province plans to “engage tenant and landlord groups” on the coming bill.

“Glad to see this announcement from the provincial government today signalling a rent freeze in 2021. Look forward to seeing details of the legislation,” Tory wrote on Twitter with the release. “At this point in time, the province is making the right decision to leave some more money in the hands of tenants.”

In July, protestors rallied outside of the mayor’s condo building to demand a freeze on evictions within the city, along with another demonstration the same day at Queen’s Park to protest Bill 184. A bill that opponants said weakened tenants’ rights, allowing landlords to evict thousands of people after the pandemic.

With files from Clarrie Feinstein.

Peter SmithPeter Smith

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