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Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath kicks off the 2022 Ontario election campaign trail at Queen's Park in Toronto on May 4.Tijana Martin/The Canadian Press

Ontario’s New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives are both promising to build 1.5 million homes in 10 years as the province grapples with a dearth of supply and ballooning prices.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath touted her housing plan today – first released in November 2020, it has since been updated to include home equity loans to help first-time buyers with a down payment.

On supply, the New Democrats say the 1.5 million homes would be a mix of starter homes, purpose-built rentals and affordable housing units, achieved in part by ending exclusionary zoning.

Changing municipal zoning rules to allow more types of housing to be built aside from single-family homes was a key recommendation from a housing affordability task force report that was commissioned by the Progressive Conservative government.

The Tories pledged to use the report as the basis for their long-term housing strategy, but legislation earlier this year failed to include that measure and several other key recommendations – something the municipal affairs and housing minister blamed on a lack of municipal co-operation.

The Liberals have not yet released their housing plan, but Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca criticized the Tory plan for a lack of help for renters and first-time home buyers.

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