Yesterday I wrote about our housing doom loop.
Today, the province of Ontario responded (maybe not to my post) by publishing this Housing Affordability Task Force report. In it, are 55 recommendations to improve overall housing supply across the province, with the end goal of adding 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years.
I’m still making my way through the report, but the recommendations can basically be grouped into these five main buckets (taken verbatim from this press release):
- Make changes to planning policies and zoning to allow for greater density and increase the variety of housing.
- Reduce and streamline urban design rules to lower costs of development.
- Depoliticize the approvals process to address NIMBYism and cut red tape to speed up housing.
- Prevent abuse of the appeal process and address the backlog at the Ontario Land Tribunal by prioritizing cases that increase housing.
- Align efforts between all levels of government to incentivize more housing.
Reform is badly needed. And I have gone on and on and on and on over the years about a number of the problems associated with how we build new homes and how we expect them to suddenly become more affordable.
Still, I think that most of the general public would be shocked to learn how long things take, how complicated we have decided to make land use approvals, and how a single person with a vested interested in seeing no development can hold up the delivery of thousands of new homes.
Progress is measured in years and decades. Months simply evaporate while you wait for the next PDF document to grant you access to some other labyrinthian planning hurdle. It doesn’t need to be this way.