3 min read
01 November 2023

Statement from WoodGreen’s Vice President of Housing & Homelessness Services Mwarigha on provincial government’s announcement to remove the full provincial portion of HST on new purpose-built rental housing

Toronto, ON – WoodGreen Community Services welcomes the Ontario government’s pledge to eliminate the full eight per cent provincial portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on qualifying new purpose-built rental housing in an effort to help get more rental homes built across Ontario.

WoodGreen is also pleased to see action taken by both the federal and provincial governments to remove taxes from the construction of new purpose-built rental apartments for both private and non-profit developers.

Together, these steps to remove the full 13 per cent HST will stimulate the development of more affordable rental units and help non-profit housing providers, such as WoodGreen, provide affordable housing to low-income and vulnerable populations such as seniors, essential workers, newcomers, youth, individuals with disabilities, and people with a long history of homelessness.

We look forward to seeing the federal and provincial governments working in collaboration to implement the HST removal as soon as possible.

Again, we applaud these actions. However, to speed up and scale new affordable housing supply in Ontario and ensure non-profit housing providers can keep housing affordable long term, we call upon the Ontario government to take the following additional actions:

  • Utilize provincial funds, such as the Provincial Land Transfer Tax, to provide upfront social impact equity to non-profit housing providers so they can launch affordable housing projects.
  • Prioritize funding for collaborative private and non-profit developer projects that build affordable housing.
  • Enhance the financial viability of non-profit providers in developing new affordable housing by providing them access to long-term and lower-rate borrowing through Infrastructure Ontario without requiring a municipal guarantee.
  • Provide non-profit developers equal opportunity to access government-owned surplus land to develop affordable rental units.
  • Preserve affordable rental housing stock by increasing affordability periods.


An important step was taken today by the provincial government and WoodGreen looks forward to continuing to work with all levels of government to introduce further solutions that can accelerate the supply of affordable rental housing.

WoodGreen — with close to 1,500 deeply affordable housing units — is one of Toronto’s largest non-municipal affordable housing providers, offering safe and affordable homes to seniors, newcomers, youth, individuals with disabilities and people with a long history of homelessness. Our organization has an ambitious plan to own and/or manage 3,000 units within the next ten years.

ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org): WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We offer over 75 programs and services tackling the social determinants that affect the health and well-being of individuals in our community.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Senior Communications Manager; [email protected]; (437) 226-8091 (cell).