Bill 73: New rules could  double transit related costs for Ottawa new home purchasers – creating a 12-fold difference

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John Herbert, executive director of  the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ As-  sociation (GOHBA), has sent a letter to  Ontario community services minister  Yasir Naqvi outlining the association’s  concerns about the proposed legislation to amend the Planning Act that, if passed in its current form, sets the stage for a potential doubling of Ottawa area home purchasers’ transit re lated costs. The letter, sent on Sept. 10 follow- ing consultations on Aug. 21 with GOHBA representatives, outlines the concerns the association has about the legislation’s impact on housing afford- ability. In the letter, Herbert suggests the current true cost of transit (including development charges, interest on the higher homeowners’ purchase costs, and the regular taxes that everyone has to pay) is $10,638 in the suburbs, com- pared to $1,785 for existing homeowners – a differential of six times. Herbert, along with past and current GOHBA presidents Pierre Dufresne and Bob Ridley, attended the meeting.Bill 73: New rules could  double transit related costs for Ottawa new home purchasers – creating a 12-fold difference Bill 73 would allow the city to double these costs, he indicated. “One of the biggest contributors to the affordability challenge has become development charges,” Herbert wrote. “We believe that it is critical to open a discussion on alternative methods of financing municipal infrastructure. One example of this problem is the category of transit charges in both the Development Charge (DC) Bylaw as well as the additional amounts that will come into effect with Bill 73. (The government introduced the legislation in the spring, and it has been referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy.)

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