GTHA needs to zone more land for housing to meet demand, report says

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

There won’t be enough homes for the 1.5 million new households expected in the Greater Golden Horseshoe over the next decade, according to a new study.

The problem? Municipalities simply don’t have enough land zoned for residential development in their official plans, says the study, commissioned by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA).

As a result, homebuilders say they will have to demolish nearly one in 10 existing homes to meet the demand for housing, which will further exacerbate the affordability crisis, BILD says in a Monday statement.

The report suggests that instead of “resetting” the housing market, the provincial government needs to ensure that municipalities have sufficient land zoned for housing to meet population growth needs.

 

“We are already in a housing supply deficit,” BILD CEO Dave Wilkes said in the release. “Problems bringing land online for new single-family homes, townhomes and stacked townhouses, and difficulty in adding supply within cities means we are nearly 80,000 housing units short of where we should be in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Looking forward to 2051, with even higher targets for high-density apartments, we can anticipate this shortfall to increase.”

According to the study, the housing shortfall in the GTHA could reach 206,800 homes by 2051, including single-family, semi-detached and townhouse units. This does not include the shortfall for high-rise apartments. If current planning trends continue, 10% of existing low-density neighbourhoods will need to be redeveloped to accommodate growth, which is “very unlikely to occur,” the report says.

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