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Unaffordable Housing

At York Region’s Committee of the Whole (11 June)

The Region’s Chief Planner, Valerie Shuttleworth, takes us through the paper “Affordable Housing Measuring and Monitoring Guidelines”.

But first, her colleague, Rick Farrell, prepares the ground with some arresting statistics.

A new single detached home in York Region now costs on average $890,804.

Twelve months ago, that very same house sold for $799,000.

And between 2004 – 2014 the average resale house price rose by 90% yet average hourly wage rates rose by 21%.

I hear that the average condo rent in 2014 was $1,564 which Farrell describes quaintly as:

“a very substantial debt for those who are challenged with income.”

Now Shuttleworth is calling for more powers from the Province to tackle the housing crisis. She says the Region is using all the powers currently available from the Province and

“We haven’t even made a dent.”

She wants  inclusionary zoning.

Newmarket’s John Taylor is thinking outside the box. What about secondary suites? What about promoting ownership where homeowners have a rental income stream via a secondary suite?

Now he asks if the Region’s housing policy is achieving what we want to achieve. (Manifestly not.)  He says the Region’s policies could end up creating a lot of one bedroom condos.

“That’s helpful but it is not a solution”.

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