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Housing numbers for the north questioned

By Randy Thoms Apr 16, 2024 | 4:33 PM

The opposition is questioning the Ford government’s housing numbers.

The NDP says the government is padding the numbers by including new long-term care beds as part of new housing targets set for municipalities in northern Ontario.

It is the result of a policy change implemented after the housing incentive program for municipalities went into place.

Sudbury and North Bay surpassed their 2023 housing targets by 156% and 277%, respectively.

The NDP says that is because long-term care beds make up 36% of Sudbury’s housing totals for 2023, while long-term care beds accounted for nearly 80% of North Bay’s total.

Numbers for Thunder Bay were not immediately available.

“Families want affordable brick-and-mortar houses and apartments, not accounting tricks to fudge that data,” says Sudbury MPP Jamie West.

“Ford is trying to sidestep his responsibility,” says NDP Deputy Leader, Sol Mamakwa. “If we’re going to label beds as homes, let’s raise the housing targets for truly affordable housing. He is deceiving the public by inflating the numbers instead of genuinely helping Ontarians.”

Figures released by the provincial government show over 109,000 new homes were created in 2023, including 89,297 new housing starts with 9,835 long-term care beds.

There were 9,879 additional residential units included in the final numbers.