We need more homes. We need everyone to support building more homes. We need to support change in our community so everyone has a safe place to call home.
This article looks at three things:
1. The housing crisis
2. The housing continuum
3. Political will to actually solve the problem
The housing crisis
How many of you out there have children?
How many of you believe they will own a home?
How many believe it will be where they want to live?
How many believe they will have to drive til they can afford and then spend most of their day commuting?
OHBA commissioned a study by Dr Moffat out of The Prosperity Institute in Ottawa. The report “Baby Needs a New Home” identifies the need for 1 million new homes to be built in Ontario in the next 10 years. Just think about that. And that is just to keep up with current demand and is based on current Government policies around immigration, foreign student recruitment etc. This is unprecedented and will require significant changes in regulations, policies and ways of thinking by our communities and our municipal politicians to be realized. We are very happy to see our current provincial government attacking the issue quickly and effectively with announcements by Minister Clark designed to speed up the approval process at the municipal level.
The housing continuum.
How many have heard this term?
How many understand it?
I am so tired of hearing the same people complain about building million dollar homes and then turn around and be self righteous about our homelessness and social issues. Housing is the first step in solving these issues. We need to keep helping everyone understand that without those homes there is no place for people to move up to thus vacating a smaller home. Nowhere for that renter to move into home ownership. Nowhere for that subsidized renter to move up to a market rental unit. Nowhere for that marginalized person to move into subsidized rental and therefore nowhere to place a homeless person who just needs a roof to start healing and moving forward in life. It amazes me how current home owners forget their own journeying through that continuum and decide that they are the chosen ones.
We need homes that people actually want to live in. A NO vote to a well thought out development - whether detached or condo and everything in between is actually a vote in favour of homelessness.
How many believe that politics determines a decision vs actual need?
How many think that will change?
As politicians have been forced to address this issue - one that the building industry has been warning about for decades - we have been asking politicians 3 key questions:
1. Are you truly committed to solving the housing supply shortage by being part of the solution, or are you content with being part of the problem?
2. Is the pursuit of popularity over legacy really serving our communities?
3. Will you continue to allow those that own a home to decide that others cannot by embracing the not-in-my-back-yard or NIMBYism crowd or worse the bananas - the build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything or anyone. If not in your back yard then where?
Well not in our downtown because everything is apparently heritage which as we all know is far more important than housing. Well not outside the city because we have to preserve farmland, wetland, species at risk, natural heritage features etc. etc. Don’t get me wrong, as an industry we support all of these issues. What we do not support however, is the approach to defining these things in the absence of common sense, original thought, reason, reality or ground truthing. Let me qualify that comment as I am sure someone will quote it out of context. Otonabee Conservation took the time to walk the land in the County of Peterborough north of the City and shared their results with the provincial government. When the provincial government update the Provincial Policy Statement in 2014 all that data and work was ignored and everything north of the City of Peterborough was deemed natural heritage so no development could happen anywhere. Using the researched and verified information from a local source is the most common sense way to shape policy.
We not only have the NIMBY’s but they are becoming the BANANAs - Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything. This city needs the political will to wake up and declare that Peterborough wants housing for our children and grandchildren. Peterborough gets it and wants as many development proposals and applications as we can produce and they will get them approved and get us building. To give credit - we are seeing changes; the Planning Department and Mayor in the City of Peterborough has said publicly that they are open for business. Local builders are submitting applications and waiting to see these promised changes materialize.
We are seeing the Province really step up to the issue, look at what is getting in the way and moving it out of the way. They are listening and are being thoughtful in the approach. Housing has been the number one issue in the past three elections up from number 7 previously. It will be the number one issue in the next elections as well. We do see a bright future ahead and we are here to support that future.
Financial Post June 2023
"The rate of housing construction relative to population size has declined over the years, but new housing construction has grown more for multi-family dwellings, mostly high-rise condominiums and some apartments, and declined for single-dwelling buildings. These trends are likely to continue as developable land becomes scarce.
To facilitate growth in housing, Canada must find ways to defeat impossible urbanism that resists any new construction. Such resistance to development might address local interests, but it does not help improve the collective welfare of a growing nation."
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