• Ministers Paul Calandra and Stan Cho, along with Mayor Iain Lovatt, local Councillors, and Town Staff, gathered at Stouffville’s Municipal Offices this morning to announce $2.6 million in support from Ontario’s Building Faster Fund.
  • The Building Faster Fund is a three-year program offering upwards of $1.2 billion in housing-supportive infrastructure funding to municipalities that meet or exceed their housing targets.
  • Stouffville witnessed 1,141 housing starts through 2023, exceeding its target by 239%.
  • The Town agreed to a ten-year housing target of 6,500 new units and stands to receive additional funding from the Province if it continues to surpass expectations.
  • When Stouffville committed to its housing goal last September, nearly 11,000 new units were already in the municipality’s development pipeline.

“Today’s announcement of $2.6 million is the first of what will be more to come for the Town of Stouffville as they continue to drive home-building in the community,” stated Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra. “When we look at the communities that have done what Stouffville has done, removing obstacles, making the process faster, certainty and speed in the process, they are smashing through their targets.”

Ontario includes long-term care units in its housing counts, and Stouffville has been a leader in providing new beds. According to Minister of Long-Term Care Stan Cho, 416 of the Town’s new housing starts through 2023 were delivered through long-term care development. “Let’s not confuse the fact that [long-term care units] are indeed homes,” Cho clarified this morning. “[Stouffville] really is the long-term care capital of not just Ontario, but the entire country…and, as Minister Calandra said, Mayor Lovatt deserves a lot of that credit.”

“We couldn’t do any of this without our amazing Staff,” remarked Lovatt, who commended Commissioner of Development Services Dwayne Tapp, Development Planning Manager Hena Kabir, and the Town’s Planning Staff. “I know municipalities where applications get stuck for years,” Lovatt noted. “We have seen applications from submission to approval in less than six months, and that is only a testament to their commitment to us and our Council’s vision to see our community grow.”

While gratitude was exchanged over today’s funding announcement, Stouffville continues to face several budgetary challenges, including a need to boost capital reserves and an annual shortfall of approximately $7 million related to its Asset Management Plan (AMP). AMPs help municipalities assess their infrastructure assets, understand future needs, and guide related investments.

While Mayor Lovatt expressed his appreciation for $2.6 million the Town did not have yesterday, Stouffville appeared hopeful to see a larger dollar amount on today’s cheque. In recent comments at a local Town Hall meeting, Lovatt suggested Stouffville was positioned to receive as much as $7 million. “I’m very, very happy to hear that this isn’t the end and is just the beginning,” Lovatt commented during the announcement. “We have actually overachieved in our target…and I know that demonstrates our commitment to the Province achieving their goal of 1.5 million homes.”

The Regional Municipality of York, which is ineligible for Building Faster Fund support, is also facing monetary woes. Ontario’s Bill 23 is expected to cut Development Charges revenue by $700 million over the next decade, and building needed infrastructure to service new housing without Provincial assistance “could result in a one-time tax levy increase of 3.7% in 2024 and a one-time water and wastewater rate increase of 7.9% in 2025,” according to a recent statement from the Region.

Minister Calandra acknowledged some of these concerns and committed to being a partner in addressing shortfalls. “I know it’s not a secret that there have been challenges across many GTA communities with respect to water, wastewater, and other servicing that is required to build homes,” Calandra said bluntly.

“Some big city mayors and communities have been frustrated that they’ve done a lot of permits but the shovels aren’t getting in the ground as they don’t have the needed water allocation,” Calandra added. “So there is more to come on that very soon.”