New report from Ryerson City Building Institute and Evergreen urges construction of 8,000 new Toronto rental units each year
TORONTO, ON - A new report by the Ryerson City Building Institute (CBI) and Evergreen examines the shortage of purpose-built rental housing in the Toronto Area and provides several recommendations to improve supply.
Getting to 8,000: Building a Healthier Rental Market for the Toronto Area found that a combination of high land values, investor demand for condos, and unequal development financing have resulted in developers favouring condominium construction over purpose-built rental units.
The Toronto Area has come to rely on condos as a substitute for purpose-built rentals. Over the past five years Toronto averaged 1760 rental completions, and over the past decade it’s averaged just 1500 completions of purpose-built rental units per year.
“Building 8,000 purpose-built rental units per year is ambitious, but attainable,” says Graham Haines, CBI Research Manager, and one of the report’s authors. “All levels of government have a role to play in developing short- and long-term policies that can create a more stable and secure rental market.”
“If we don’t address the rental shortage our market will continue to become tighter and tighter. In particular, our most vulnerable communities will suffer the most as they will have the hardest time finding any housing,” says Michelle German, Evergreen’s Senior Manager of Policy and Partnerships and report co-author.
The researchers suggest several ways to make purpose-built rental developments cost competitive with condos and expand the use of existing housing stock to accommodate more people. The report’s key recommendations include:
Adopting land-use changes to permit denser housing
Expanding the proposed funding for the provincial development charge rebate program
Making municipal incentives for affordable housing projects available to all rental developments
Providing a “one-window” service to make it easier for developers to access all government incentives
Introducing changes to HST rules including the introduction of a “zero-rating” system and the method of calculating self-supply HST
Introducing taxes on vacant units and regulating short-term rentals.
Dominic Ali, Ryerson City Building Institute, Communications Specialist
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Renee Tratch, Evergreen, PR & Promotions Officer
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About CBI: The Ryerson City Building Institute (CBI) is a multidisciplinary centre focused on issues relevant to city regions nationally and globally. CBI brings together political leadership, policy ideas, and people from diverse backgrounds to address critical urban challenges. The Institute delivers its mandate by working with partners across faculties and outside the university to deliver high-quality research and public engagement on urban issues. CBI builds on Ryerson University’s demonstrated expertise in collaborative city building. For more information visit www.citybuildinginstitute.ca.
About Evergreen: Since 1991, Evergreen, a national not-for-profit, has provoked bold action in transforming public landscapes into thriving community spaces. We believe that connecting people, natural and built worlds create flourishing cities for the future. For more than 25 years Evergreen has connected, collaborated, and catalyzed Canadians to do amazing things positively affecting attitudes and behaviours that lie at the core of a sustainable city. For more information visit www.evergreen.ca.
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