Ontario’s Big City Mayors call for greater Federal, Provincial and Local Government collaboration on affordable housing solutions

Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) along with Regional Chairs met today with Premier Ford and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark at the Provincial-Municipal Housing Affordability Summit.  The summit provided an open and fulsome discussion between the province and municipalities on housing supply and affordability solutions, as well as a commitment to continue tackling the affordable housing crisis through a long-term and collaborative approach.  

“Housing affordability is impacting so many people in Kitchener and across the province.  All orders of government and other stakeholders such as the homebuilding industry and those that control capital need to work together towards creating affordable housing for all,” said City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The affordable housing crisis did not happen overnight, and it will not be fixed with one meeting. Today’s Provincial-Municipal Housing Summit builds on previous work and moves us towards a long-term strategy and a commitment to a coordinated approach.”

At today’s summit, participants discussed best practices to increase housing supply. The Province is committed to working together with municipalities to develop stronger data standards and modernize digital service delivery and approvals.  Also, certain inter-related provincial-municipal approval processes were discussed as an example where further efficiency improvements are needed.

“From making our planning and development information easier to access and understand, to implementing a digital submission and review process that has made the process 50% quicker, the City of Kitchener embraces innovation and is always looking at efficiencies to improve our processes. We know that more can be done to move towards digital services and greater Provincial-Municipal coordination and look forward to working with the Province on these improvements,” said Mayor Vrbanovic.

Premier Ford and Minister Clark announced additional funding to support municipalities. The Province of Ontario has created a new $45 million Streamline Development Approvals Fund to support Ontario’s 39 largest municipalities, including Kitchener, to modernize, streamline, and accelerate municipal processes for managing and approving housing applications.  The Province is also providing an additional $8.4 million in funding through the Audit & Accountability Fund to assist large urban municipalities to identify potential savings and efficiencies through third-party reviews to further accelerate the creation of new housing.

“We welcome this new funding from the Province and look forward to using these funds and supports to continue working with all orders of government and our customers, the builders and residents in our community, in improving our processes.  But beyond municipal processes, we know that we also need solutions to include fiscal levers and other policy options that are available at the Federal and Provincial orders of government, so that we can slow down the commodification of houses that people so desperately need,” said Mayor Vrbanovic.


Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) is comprised of mayors of Ontario cities with populations of 100,000 or more. OBCM provides a voice for big city mayors in policy debates that impact Ontario cities. Through policy development, advocacy, discussion, and partnerships, Ontario’s Big City Mayors support strong and effective cities. 

OBCM media release

Housing Summit op-ed co-authored by OBCM Chair Jeff Lehman, City of Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, City of Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky, and City of Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry


For more information, please contact:  

Paul Grivicic, Chief of Staff

City of Kitchener



Shawn Falcao

Manager, Corporate Communications

City of Kitchener