Coinciding with municipal elections coming to a close, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released recommendations on what newly-elected councillors, mayors and regional chairs across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can do to ensure housing affordability and supply for home buyers and renters.
“A recent poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs showed that housing affordability was a top-of-mind issue for voters in this election,” said Garry Bhaura, TREB president, in a press release. “Housing affordability is a priority for voters, and they want it to be a priority for the incoming municipal councils. Based on the candidate survey responses that TREB received, it appears that housing affordability is also a priority for many candidates.”
The TREB also released three new policy briefs on “missing middle” housing supply, housing-related municipal red tape, and infrastructure needs for housing supply, in addition to a statement issued earlier in the campaign on the impact of municipal land transfer taxes. TREB recommends newly elected municipal councils to support the creation of more housing supply and options.
In addition, its recommendations include that:
- councils review municipal zoning by-laws and consider changes to allow for more mid-density development, such as townhomes;
- work with neighbourhoods by improving communication strategies to allow mid-density developments to become seamlessly integrated into existing neighbourhoods;
- prevent new municipal land transfer taxes in the GTA;
- reform the Toronto Land Transfer Tax to adjust the first-time home buyer rebate, and the threshold price at which the higher tax rate kicks in so they keep pace with Toronto’s current average home price (currently around $800,000);
- conduct reviews of municipal planning approval processes for new housing applications, with the goal of streamlining the process; and
- recognize the importance of infrastructure as related to housing supply and affordability, and move ahead with critical projects and investments that are key portions of strategies targeted to addressing housing needs.
TREB also recently released the results of responses received from over 200 municipal candidates from across the GTA. They were asked to respond to a survey requesting their views on key housing issues that are the subject of TREB’s recommendations.
The policy briefs and candidate survey responses can be read here.