affordable housing supply

New report urges Ontario to end exclusionary zoning

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The Toronto Region Board of Trade has released a report outlining how the provincial government can eliminate exclusionary zoning policies that prohibit even modest forms of density such as triplexes or small apartment buildings in most residential neighbourhoods. Entitled  ‘Meeting in the Middle: A plan to end exclusionary zoning and tackle Ontario’s housing crisis’ the report arrived just ahead of a scheduled housing  summit, which has since been postponed over concerns related to the omicron variant.

“Housing affordability is a critical issue in Ontario – our competitiveness in attracting talent, driving innovation, and realizing the potential of the climate economy depends on solving the housing shortfall,” the Board contends. “Allowing more types of homes in more places will help address the region’s affordability crisis and enable a host of other economic, environmental and social benefits.”

The proposed framework outlines an approach that eliminates exclusionary zoning, supported by additional policies such as bringing development charges for a four-unit building in line with a single detached house.

“High housing prices are already costing our economy up to $8 billion per year – the time for action is now,” said Jan De Silva, President & CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “Ending exclusionary zoning will increase our housing supply and ensure working families can afford to live here. This helps companies recruit and retain talent which, in turn, will draw innovative companies to invest in Toronto.”

“The elimination of exclusionary zoning policies has a host of benefits beyond housing affordability,” said Craig Ruttan, Policy Director, Housing. “This framework would provide opportunities to help address systemic racism, maximize existing infrastructure and deliver environmental benefits—it’s a winner across the board.”

The new framework follows the Board’s ‘Priced Out’ report, which raised concerns that the 114,000 manufacturing jobs forecast to be added in the Toronto region by 2050 are at risk if workers continue to be priced out of the housing market. The work also addresses the challenges laid out in the Board’s “Housing a Generation of Workers” series, which identified that high housing prices are already costing our economy up to $8 billion per year.

To read the full framework, click here.

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