GTA builders launch public awareness campaign
Motorists along Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway and other commuters may have noticed something very different during their trips to and from work in April. The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) launched a six-week public awareness campaign, and a “billboard takeover” along this popular stretch of highway was among the first and most noticeable elements of the program.
Called Building Answers, the campaign is designed to answer key questions GTA residents have about housing and development and will include other outdoor advertising, print placements and social media messaging.
“With 115,000 new people calling the GTA their home every year and the population expected to grow by 40 per cent to 9.7 million by 2041, development and housing construction is highly visible throughout the region,” says David Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “It’s natural for residents to have questions and want to understand the changes they are seeing in and around their communities. As the industry that builds the places where people live, work and play, we are committed to facilitating an informed discussion.”
IPSOS conducted a public opinion poll and gathered the top 24 questions from resident-participants, and BILD enlisted a panel of industry professionals to answer them. The buildinganswers.ca website will engage members of the public and provide them with an opportunity to submit their own questions. BILD has committed to answer individual questions within two business days. The most common questions will be answered on the site.
Q: Why is there so much development in the GTA?
A: The GTA is a great place to live – as evidenced by ranking seventhon the 2018 Economist Intelligence Unit’s list of the world’s most livable cities. But the fact is, we already have a housing shortage and the region is continuing to grow quickly.
People want to move to the GTA. It’s one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in North America with 115,000 people choosing to move here every year. That kind of growth requires approximately 50,000 new homes per year. As it stands, we’ve been able to build approximately 40,000 homes per year since 2016. The gap between what is being built and what is needed is increasing each and every year.
And this growth is not going to slow down any time soon. In fact, it’s expected that our population will grow 40 per cent by 2041, to 9.7 million. That means there’s going to be ongoing demand for housing and employment lands above and beyond the shortfall we already have.
The development and new housing efforts – often represented by construction activity and cranes and graders – are evidence of how we’re working hard every day to help build a livable GTA.
Q: What makes up the cost of a new home or condominium?
A: The cost of a new home or condominium depends on three main drivers:
Price of land: Land values in the GTA for single-family homes have increased by more than 300 per cent since 2006.
Cost of building:This includes labour, materials and design.
Government fees and taxes:In the GTA, 22 per cent of the cost of a single-family home comprises government fees and taxes from all three levels of government. For condominiums, this jumps to 24 per cent.
The cost of a new home or condominium is also affected by factors such as location, size and type of building.
“BILD receives many inquiries on a regular basis from members of the public about housing and development in their communities,” adds Wilkes. “The Building Answers campaign will allow the industry to engage as many people as possible and answer as many questions as possible. When you allow people to be part of the discussion and share information, you allow them to be part of the solution.”
The advertising and communications campaign will also feature a live CP24 call-in segment and high impact print placements in major Toronto publications. Residents can also expect to see and hear messaging on TV, radio, print, digital and social media, transit shelters and billboards across the region. BILD worked with empathy marketing agency Republic to develop and execute the campaign.
“Now is the time for an open and factual discussion on development in the GTA given the generational challenge of housing supply and affordability,” says Wilkes. “This campaign will allow everyone to participate in the dialogue about what our region will look like.”
With 1,500 member companies, BILD is the voice of the homebuilding, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. The industry provides $33 billion in investment value and employs 271,000 people in the region. BILD is affiliated with the Ontario Home Builders’ Association and Canadian Home Builders’ Associations.
GTA residents are encouraged to visit buildinganswers.ca to see responses to the top questions, as well as to ask the industry their own questions.