The construction of 1.5 million houses is a target that the four major provincial parties agree to achieve, but is it a realistic objective?
New findings from the Smart Prosperity Institute’s latest housing report “Ontario Needs 1.5 Million More Homes” suggest the goal is not just reasonable, but ideal. According to their calculations, about 1.51 million new homes need to be built for the province to reach the average levels of housing supply in the rest of Canada.
“The goal of building 1.5 million homes is the right one.” – Dr. Mike Moffatt, Senior Director of Policy at the Institute for Smart Prosperity and lead author of the report
In 2021, Ontario was short by 471,500 homes; it will need just over a million homes to keep up with the projected population growth over the next ten years, from 2021 to 2031.
Housing demand remains strong across the province, and Halton is no exception. Moffat believes that “local leadership and a substantial plan will be needed for Halton to build the 90,400 homes needed by 2031”.
What’s missing is action, as he thinks, “at this point it’s more of a goal than a plan.”
The lack of a “serious plan” is causing families to move to other parts of Ontario – in other words “drive until they qualify” – just to find accessible housing. Young people are mainly affected; traveling away from their workplace “increases travel, contributes to the loss of forests and farmland, and makes it virtually impossible for the province to meet its climate goals.”
“A housing goal is not a housing plan. Although the target of 1.5 million homes is a useful benchmark, it is not an overall plan. making sure we’re building these homes in a way that’s consistent with our climate goals.” – Dr Mike Moffat