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In 2015, the OAA, together with Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) and Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCA), commissioned the Canadian Centre of Economic Analysis to carry out a broad-based study of housing affordability in Ontario. Following the release of the study in 2017, the OAA furthered its effort by creating the Housing Affordability Task Group (HATG) with the objectives to identify key design and planning elements to address housing affordability. In particular, the group explores building types, changes to built form, construction methods, location, site typology and universal regulatory fixes.
Graphics by SvN Architects + Planners Inc. | Housing Affordability in Growing Urban Areas (OAA Report, 2019)
The HATG has set three goals with recommended actions to meet housing supply needs at an attainable level in a timeframe that is responsive to population growth projections through to 2060.
Goal A: Increase Housing Supply by matching the 2017 Growth Plan
Increase density in neighbourhoods, corridors and centres to optimize as-of-right existing zoning provisions, update municipal density targets and increase zoning provisions to promote the diversification of housing stock to meet projected demand over the next 40 years. The answer lies in zoning potential tied to and realized through the 2017 Growth Plan.
Goal B: Make Housing Financially Attainable
Develop financing models for alternative ownership/occupancy structures such as sharing, life-cycle adaptation, fractional ownership and land-lease. Develop new financial models for both ownership and rental. If realized in the form presented by HATG, it has the potential to make housing attainable for all income levels.
Goal C: Speed up delivery
The current development approval processes to secure zoning and building permissions are complex and normally consume three times the time required to deliver a project. Shortening the timeframe would greatly reduce the costs. Realizing as-of-right density and unlocking the potential on existing and surplus public lands brings housing affordability within reach for many. New, faster delivery methods for housing also need to be realized with tax and development incentives.