A plan to improve housing affordability

by Justin da Rosa08 Mar 2017
The industry is calling on the government to address housing affordability, amid skyrocketing prices in several markets.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) and The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) are urging Ontario to implement a housing task force with the goal of increasing housing supply in the province.

“The Canadian dream of home ownership is at risk in the GTA. This is the year for provincial and municipal governments to step up with solutions to ensure the dream of home ownership does not slip away from future generations,” Tim Hudak, CEO of OREA, said. “The housing supply issue is a real problem, but the solutions exist. We need the government to get real estate experts together on this issue, to hammer out a plan for putting more homes on the market and making home ownership more affordable for young families and first-time buyers.”

The two associations have provided four starting points to the government.

They include; 
•    Fixing the “one size fits all” approach to housing growth, and instead focus on addressing each community’s needs.
•    Improving the planning approvals process by better aligning provincial and municipal priorities
•    Addressing outdated zoning laws that may hinder the building of certain housing types
•    Targeting infrastructure support 

Affordability is becoming increasingly problematic for many Ontarians in markets in and around the GTA. 

The average home in the Greater Toronto Area cost $770,745 in January, up 22.1% year-over-year.

Similarly homes in York Region (+29.3% year-over-year), Barrie (+30.9%), Cambridge (+20.9%), Durham Region (+36.5%), and Hamilton (+15.4%) saw major price gains to start the year.

“Ninety-five per cent of Ontario’s new housing supply is built by our industry, and new home prices reflect the market conditions affected by government policy, like municipal and provincial approvals,” Joe Vaccaro, Chief Executive Officer, OHBA. “It only makes sense to bring together private sector expertise and government policy makers if we are serious about making home ownership more affordable.”

Related stories:
Addressing affordability in a time of potential change
Land transfer hike impact


  • by Realtor Elite. 3/8/2017 2:53:54 PM

    The by-laws and zoning is fueling the price as well as low supplies to meet the demand. As we all know government can control demand but they can help to increase supply. Change the zoning to higher land usage. Like splitting stocks.

  • by george 3/17/2017 11:33:37 AM

    ...don't sell the dog....come to London, Ont. and buy a home that can actually be paid off....really

  • by Susan in tbay 3/21/2017 9:35:24 AM

    housing is a supply and demand industry. Factors such as interest rates have a huge impact on how affordable housing can be and is it any surprise that we've seen explosive growth In housing prices after having many successive years of very low interest rates, there have been so many articles about "the bubble" for years and if you want to see it burst a rise in interest rates will do it. Then there's economic prosperity you can buy lots of house cheap up in northern Ontario where there is little economic development and low population. Making housing affordable needs to start on the supply side of the equation and targeting the private sector as the investor could be the most pragmatic angle. Offer amnesty for undocumented apartments once again where a home owner can get an existing "in-law suited legal non confirming status provided that it has been retrofitted for fire code. Relax and rewrite the tenant act and put the landlord back into the act so that tenants don't have all the rights, there are just too many hoops for a landlord to get rid of a bad tenant. That whole system is too complex and cumbersome. Relax the zoning by laws to allow people to add new suites into their homes. Offer them tax breaks and grants to add units. Perhaps even tax the " new rental " income at a preferred rate similar to the way dividend income is taxed at a preferred rate. Have municipalities examine their zoning by-laws and really look at places where they can add space for higher density housing and offer people incentives to build multiple units. It pains me to see the Ontario government as the biggest landlord in the province but it doesn't surprise me because years of a poorly administered tenant act has pushed many of the mom and pop landlords out of the game because it doesn't take long before a savvy career tenant has some hardworking small landlord fighting six months to get rid of their tenant who doesn't pay their rent. So the net result is that you push rental supplies low and homelessness becomes an issue.
    As far as making it more affordable to buy houses in the GTA corridor goes it's most likely not going to ease up since that's where most of the economic activity is . That Economic activity attracts the workers and as you see more people migrate and immigrate into that area you will always need a lot of supply. I look at how these large corporations squeeze their employees every year to be able to offer their stock investors dividends when if they looked at moving their head office to a smaller community they could unlock millions of dollars worth of equity or reduce their business accommodation costs immensely. With our digital age upon us there are less reasons for the head office of so many major corporations to have to be in the GTA. If it came to pass that some of those big players relocated their headquarters it could trigger a redistribution of economic activity which could ease the demand for housing in the GTA.
    This whole housing price conundrum will require contributions and Input from all levels of government to coordinate a wholistic approach to resolving the issues but the key equation is supply and demand. Increase supply but do it through private investors and figure out a way to redistribute demand and you will help to ease the problem.

Industry news

Submit a press release


Do you do commercial deals?