Jessica Bell MPP, University–Rosedale

Government of Ontario

ACT NOW: It's time for affordable co-ownership housing

Costly rent and housing prices have made it more difficult for first-time home buyers to save up and buy a home.  The high cost of housing has also made it hard for many existing homeowners to afford very high mortgage payments and keep their home.  After five years of Conservative rule, it’s never been more expensive to rent or buy a home. 

To keep the dream of home ownership alive, I believe we need to take the best ideas from other states and provinces and apply them here right in Ontario. 

That's why I am calling on Ontario to come up with a plan to make it easy and inexpensive for people to pool their savings, buy a property, duplex, triplex or fourplex together, move into their own individual home and share common areas. 

It's called co-ownership. BC permits this, as does Quebec, Seattle, Texas, and California.  

Helping people buy missing middle housing together is a very practical way to help people get into the housing market and buy their first home because it's cheaper.  Duplexes, triplexes, and family-friendly sized apartments are hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper than semi-detached and detached single family homes.

Existing home owners who are struggling with the upkeep or mortgage payments can also choose to sever or stratify their property, maybe selling off a laneway home for their adult child and family to move into.

In Ontario, it is expensive, time-consuming, risky, and cumbersome to sever or stratify a property and co-own a home.  We believe it should be quick, easy and affordable.