This image, from July 2023, depicts 51 and 55 Clarington Boulevard, an active above-ground construction site.

Clarington cries foul when denied reward for meeting target

Clarington yesterday said as municipalities across Ontario are being rewarded with funding for achieving their housing targets, it has been denied its share.

Clarington had announced achieving 955 new housing unit starts in 2023, exceeding the target of 953 set by the Province of Ontario and making the municipality eligible for about $4 million from the Provincial Building Faster Fund.

However, a statement said the Province of Ontario claims that Clarington only achieved 506 unit starts—or 53 per cent of its target—making the municipality ineligible for funding.

“Clarington is confident that we have exceeded our housing targets for 2023, as per the Housing Pledge that I signed,” said Mayor Adrian Foster. “Our 955 units not only had building permits issued, they also had inspections completed in 2023. I am calling on the province to be fair to the taxpayers of Clarington—to review their methods and re-evaluate our numbers.”

The Building Faster Fund is a $1.2 billion program that provides funding to municipalities that meet or exceed their annual housing targets. The Province uses Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) data to determine whether municipalities have met their targets, which is not comprehensive, the municipality claimed.

As an example of the discrepancy, two multi-story buildings in Bowmanville, totalling 440 units, were started and inspected by Clarington’s Chief Building Official in 2023, but not counted in CMHC’s numbers. Despite meeting with CMHC staff and engaging the province to re-evaluate, Clarington has been advised it will not receive funding, the statement said.

“Clarington is committed to enabling responsible growth. We met our targets, and our community was counting on these funds to allocate to the development of parkland, which has also been reduced by the province under Bill 23,” said Mayor Foster. “The denial of funding for a fast-growing municipality like Clarington results in shifting the cost of growth from the developers to the existing taxpayers.”

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