BILD CEO to gov’t on GTA housing affordability crisis: remove regulations restricting midscale developments

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Downtown GTA, a metro area with a housing market suffering from an affordability crisis due in part to restrictive government policies. (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en)

Building Industry and Land Development Association president and CEO Bryan Tuckey, in a Nov. 4 article he penned for The Star, urged the provincial government to remove or update government policies that hinder home builders and developers from delivering more residential spaces in the Greater Toronto Area.

With the metro area’s increasingly expensive home sale prices, Tuckey warned that GTA could potentially turn into a highly-desirable, yet unaffordable city, like London, Hong Kong and New York.

Presently, the GTA’s housing market is characterized by an insufficient supply being outstripped by rising demands from a rapidly growing population. Tuckey attributes this imbalance to the lack of midscale developments.

Because of restrictive laws, housing options in the GTA are limited to either large low-rise dwellings or smaller highrise condos. “What we’re missing… are townhouses, triplexes and midrise buildings,” Tuckey asserted in the article.

He cited Montreal as an example, pointing out that after developers built midscale dwellings like three-storey flats and mid-rise apartments, homes in Canada’s second biggest city became more affordable than those in smaller metros like Greater Vancouver.

“The… industry wants to design and build homes and communities… that meet the housing needs of the GTA… but it is getting harder as challenges grow in number and scale. Complicated and restrictive government policies, already lengthy yet still worsening approval processes, a shortage of shovel-ready and approved land on which to build, escalating land prices and the growing issue of NIMBYism (Not in My Backyard) are impeding our ability to build homes and communities,” Tuckey enumerated.

Moreover, he also discussed how many GTA municipalities require new development applications to conform to outdated area zoning bylaws that do not align with provincial regulations.

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