A plan to improve housing affordability

by Justin da Rosa on 08 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•    Addressing outdated zoning laws that may hinder the building of certain housing types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

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