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GTA Housing Action Lab

A collaborative project promoting innovative housing solutions in the region through strategic planning, research, and backbone support.
A crane over an apartment tower under construction.

We build housing very well in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The market, responding to economic trends and regulatory conditions, has managed to build a huge amount of new housing to accommodate the fastest growing region in North America. And yet we face some critical interrelated challenges that are affecting resident’s well-being and the future sustainability and affordability of housing in the region. These challenges include:

  • Growing affordability issues and lack of housing options for GTA residents, in particular at the lower end of the income spectrum, including families with children
  • Broader regional economic vulnerability as a result of elevated household debt levels and the economic costs of inefficient growth patterns
  • Threats to the region’s environmental sustainability from auto-based travel patterns and pressures on energy and water systems

The impacts of these can be seen in:

  • Cost of housing rising disproportionately to incomes
  • Growing social housing waiting lists and repair costs
  • Few new lower income rental and affordable ownership options
  • A lack of diversity in the form and tenure of housing resulting in a lack of choice for residents
  • Challenges to the process of intensification and a disconnect between development patterns and regional growth and transportation planning

The GTA Housing Action Lab is a collaborative working group that has come together to build:

An aerial view of a suburban residential neighbourhood.

  • Programs and policies that support the affordability of housing to ensure residents of all incomes have the best chance to live in a suitable home and have a choice in their housing
  • A more sustainable housing system in the region by increasing public support for intensification, awareness of the benefits of complete communities, and policies that support creative infill in our urban centres and a connected region
  • A policy and regulatory framework that encourages diversity in form and tenure, intensification and affordability, and creates incentives aligned with the needs of the residents of the region while creating an economically viable housing sector

Housing Research

The GTA Housing Action Lab has identified eight focus areas. Within each, the lab and its partners have co-created a series of solution-based research that explores each topic.

  • Housing Benefit
  • Leveraging Assets Locked in Social Housing
  • New Partnerships for Affordable Housing
  • Affordable Home Ownership
  • Purpose Built Rental
  • Tower Renewal
  • Creative Infill Housing
  • Data

To see the research reports, please visit our Publications page.

For more information please contact Michelle German at

Convened by:

Evergreen logo.


Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and HousingOntario Trillium Foundation


BILDCity of TorontoCanadian Mental Health AssociationCanadian Urban InstituteCivicActionCentre for Urban Growth and RenewalCo-operative Housing Federation of CanadaDaily Bread Food BankDKGi IncERA ArchitectsGreater Toronto Apartment AssociationHabitat for HumanityHousing Services CorporationMowat CentreThe Natural StepThe Neptis FoundationOntario Home Builders AssociationOntario Non-Profit Housing AssocationOptions for HomesPembina instituteRegion of PeelRyerson City Building InstituteSean Hertel - Urban Planning Consultantsustainable.toSvNTas Design BuildToronto Atmospheric FundToronto Region Conservation AuthorityTridelTrillium HousingUnited Way | Toronto & York RegionUrban Land InstituteYork Region