BILD calling on Toronto candidates to focus on housing
By Adam FreillConstruction Residential
Building and development industry releases plan and recommendations aimed at addressing Toronto’s housing supply crisis.
With Toronto’s mayoral by-election coming in June, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) has released a four-point plan and policy recommendations that it says will address Toronto’s housing supply crisis as it asks candidates to make new housing is a top priority.
“Experts, the industry and governments agree that the housing challenges in the city, and across Ontario, are firmly rooted in a shortage of new housing and the length of time it takes to build new homes,” said Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “The provincial government’s target of building 1.5 million homes over the next decade is designed to improve affordability and bring balance to the market. By virtue of its size, the City of Toronto needs to build 285,000 new homes to help meet this objective. This number represents a 160 per cent annual increase in housing starts from the previous decade.”
BILD’s recommendations include speeding up building approvals, reducing red tape, making more efficient use of available land by increasing greater residential density, putting a cap on municipal fees and taxes on new housing, and accelerating the development of infrastructure, community services and social services to match the acceleration of housing development.
In a 2022 benchmarking study of major Canadian municipalities, Toronto ranked last in approval timeframes, averaging 32 months on common types of new housing, four and a half times longer than the maximum allowed under the Planning Act. These delays, says BILD, limit supply and add costs.
“There are clear indicators that housing demand in Canada will remain robust,” said Wilkes. “Last month, Statistics Canada announced that Canada’s population grew by a million people in 2022, and the federal government has committed to welcoming 500,000 new immigrants annually. Mayoral hopefuls must put housing at the top of their agenda.”