Provincial Reversal of Guelph and Wellington County Official Plans Will Exacerbate Housing Shortages

 In Industry News

Provincial Reversal of Guelph and Wellington County Official Plans Will Exacerbate Housing Shortages

GUELPH | October 24, 2023 – In the wake of yesterday’s announcement by the Hon. Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, regarding the reversal of changes to multiple Official Plans, including that of Guelph and Wellington County, the Guelph and District Home Builders’ Association (GDHBA) and Guelph Wellington Development Association (GWDA) express concerns about the implications this will have for the housing landscape in Ontario.

This decision stands to significantly hamper the housing supply, pushing housing affordability further out of reach for countless Ontarians. A stable and consistent housing policy is crucial to ensuring that we can effectively address the ongoing housing crisis, fostered by the mounting gap between housing demand and supply.

GDHBA and GWDA have been diligently involved in reviewing and providing recommendations for Official Plans, aiming to align with provincial goals to enhance housing availability and affordability. Abrupt reversals, such as yesterday’s, not only create an atmosphere of uncertainty for businesses and investors but could end crucial housing projects which add additional inventory to the market, further deepening the crisis.

“The intent behind the provincial amendments to various Official Plans, including Guelph and Wellington County, was to promote the development of land for new homes, increase housing availability, diversity, and sustainable growth and to match the demands for a mix of family-friendly housing at varying levels of affordability. Yesterday’s sudden reversal eliminates years of collaboration with our partners at the province and the municipalities and will drastically impact our industry’s ability to deliver these much needed new homes,” stated GDHBA President, Josh Kaufman.

Our Associations agree with the comments made by City of Guelph Mayor, Cam Guthrie in regards to yesterday’s announcement. Months of additional staff time and planning, and subsequent costs, have been invested from not only a municipal perspective, but from builders and developers as they navigate the changes to the Official Plans made in April. On top of the time setback in building much needed housing, those costs will ultimately get passed on to the homebuyer or taxpayer (should the province not provide funding to municipalities to cover these costs) which will significantly affect the affordability of housing in a negative way.

We recognize the significant role of the provincial Housing Affordability Task Force and have always been eager to provide constructive input. It’s essential to address the evolving needs of the housing market, such as the ever-growing housing demand in areas like Guelph and Wellington County. Comprehensive strategies, such as Urban Boundary Expansions and intensification reforms, are crucial tools in our arsenal to combat the widening gap between housing demand and supply, and to meet the provincial housing targets by 2031.

Guelph and Wellington County are no strangers to the challenges posed by rapid population growth and the resultant strain on housing. We urge the provincial government to reconsider yesterday’s decision and to work collaboratively with stakeholders, including developers and homebuilders, to chart a workable path forward.

This unexpected reversal has the potential to reshape the housing landscape for years to come. Our Associations stand committed to collaborating with the province, the municipalities, and other stakeholders to navigate these challenging times and ensure every Ontarian has access to housing.


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The Guelph & District Home Builders’ Association (GDHBA) is the voice for the residential construction industry in the Guelph and Wellington County area. The GDHBA represents members from a wide range of businesses, including home builders, renovators, trade contractors, product suppliers, service professionals, realtors, financial specialists, and more. The GDHBA was established to serve the needs of both residential construction businesses and homeowners in the Guelph community.


Twitter: @GuelphHBA

Instagram: @guelphhba 

Facebook: Guelph & District Home Builders’ Association

LinkedIn: Guelph & District Home Builders’ Association Inc. 


The Guelph Wellington Development Association (GWDA) was created to represent the interests of its members in the development industry and is dedicated to promoting the development of the City of Guelph and surrounding area in an orderly manner through the use of sound planning principles. Through cooperation with municipal, provincial and federal authorities, GWDA works to ensure development is carried out as efficiently as possible, encouraging the economic use of land.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Melissa Jonker

Chief Executive Officer, GDHBA




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