Ontario is debating what is being called the “Golden Girls Act”. This could make single family use provisions in condo corporation governing documents less effective.
Single family use provisions are common in Ontario condo corporation declarations since the 1970s. They have been used to help address an overabundance of rental properties, overcrowding and heavy student use in condo communities. The provision generally restricts those residing in a unit to “related individuals” with family referring to parents, their children (natural or adopted) and other relatives.
The Golden Girls Act is a private members’ bill designed to prevent municipalities from preventing affordable housing solutions. If passed the bill would amend the provincial planning act to prevent municipalities from using local by-laws to prohibit seniors from cohabiting.
Municipalities would not be allowed to pass by-laws distinguishing between related and unrelated persons in respect of occupancy. Unrelated individuals, regardless of age, would find it easier to reduce living costs by sharing a condo unit. Units with restrictions on number of residents, often based on number of bedrooms, are unlikely to be impacted by this proposed legislation.