– The OCR Special Feature
The Regional Municipality of York’s 2015 Growth and Development Review estimates the total value of construction in 2015 at $3.89 billion, the highest value in the municipality’s history.
“The record amount of new construction activity this past year reaffirms the fact that York Region continues to be an attractive place to live, work and invest,” chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson said in a news release. “This unprecedented growth is a key indicator that our economy is healthy, which allows us to maintain our excellent level of services and contributes to our very good quality of life.”
The 2015 Growth and Development Review, approved by the municipal council in May, reports on population growth and new construction. It shows York Region continues to be a significant contributor to provincial and national economies, ranking York Region in the top 10 Canadian municipalities.
• New residential building permits issued for 9,546 homes, a 51 per cent increase from 2014, with the cities of Vaughan and Markham accounting for about half of all residential building permits;
• York Region’s population growth of 21,500 people, increasing the total number of residents to 1,166,300; and
• 13,300 jobs added, bringing the total number of people working in the region to 577,600.
The review provides a broad perspective on key economic indicators. By closely monitoring these indicators, York Region is able to respond to short and long-range planning issues and helps to ensure all residents can experience the benefits of Regional growth and development.
A key finding of the report is an increasing gap between maximum affordable housing thresholds and the average residential house price. The average price of a detached resale home rose 15 per cent from $820,378 in 2014 to $943,441 in 2015 – more than double the current maximum affordable housing threshold.
“In response to the increasing home ownership affordability gap, York Region is undertaking a number of affordable housing initiatives,” said City of Vaughan regional councillor Michael Di Biase, chair of the region’s planning and economic development committee. “These include a 10-Year Housing Plan and Affordable Housing Measuring and Monitoring Guidelines to address the issue of affordable housing and encourage a mix of housing options for residents.”
The 2015 Growth and Development Review is now available (see https://goo.gl/dif- SKh) for use by municipalities and agencies, local chambers of commerce and boards of trade and the general public.
The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local municipalities and provides a variety of programs and services to almost 1.2 million residents, 50,000 businesses and 580,000 employees. More information about the region’s key service areas is available at york.ca/regionalservices.