‘Faulty data’ behind lack of housing funding from Ontario, Ajax claims


Published May 22, 2024 at 4:46 pm

housing Burlington condo Ontario

The Town of Ajax has called on the Ontario Government to acknowledge their progress in meeting their housing goals and cough up the promised $4 million reward for doing so.

In effort to spur housing development, the Ontario Government told each municipality in the province they would receive millions more in funding if they met assigned “housing start” goals.

These housing starts count once shovels hit the ground and construction begins, based on data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

This prompted pushback from some municipalities who felt the province should also count approved developments and that the CMCH data undercounted ongoing developments.

Each municipality was given a proportional goal to meet. In Durham Region, this meant 840,000 new units by 2031.

This plan, the government says, serves to prepare the 51 municipalities set to see the most population growth over the next decade. The Building Faster Fund is set provide $400 million to these communities, should they meet their goals.

Durham Region as a whole is expected to grow from its current roughly 650,000 residents to 1.2 million in that time, mostly in Ajax, Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering and Whitby.

As a result, by 2031 Ontario aims to build;

  • 23,000 units in Oshawa
  • 18,000 units in Whitby
  • 17,000 units in Ajax,
  • 13,000 units in Pickering, and
  • 13,000 units in Clarington

While Clarington argued they met their goal in approvals, these did not reach the CMHC definition of a “housing start” and the township lost out on its $4 million bonus. According to CMCH, Clarington only met 53 per cent of its 2023 goal.

On the flip side, Pickering exceeded their goal by nearly 60 per cent, according to the CMHC data, leading Premier Doug Ford to visit the city with a $5.2 million cheque back in March.

Now Ajax is calling on the province to deliver their cheque as well, though they may find the same issue Clarington faced.

The town passed a motion at the May 21 council meeting saying they had approved 1,121 new units or 90 per cent of its 2023 goal. However, the CMHC reports Ajax only met 64 per cent of the goal.

As a result, the town has called on the Federal and Provincial government, including Federal Housing Minister Sean Fraser, Ajax MP (and Health Minster) Mark Holland Ajax MPP Patrice Barnes and Ontario Housing Minister Paul Calandra to engage with Ajax and other municipalities in the same circumstance.

Ajax argues the CMHC data is “faulty” and has called on the province to “make good” on its commitment to invest in the town.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising