Municipal candidates aware of housing needs – TREB poll
With municipal elections only days away, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released recommendations on what newly elected councillors, mayors, and regional chairs across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can do to ensure housing affordability and choice for homebuyers and renters.
TREB also released the results of responses received from more than 200 municipal election candidates from across the GTA. Candidates were asked to respond to a TREB survey asking for their views on key housing issues that are the subject of TREB’s recommendations.
Both the policy briefs and candidate survey responses can be viewed at UnlockMyHousingOptions.com
“A recent poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs showed that housing affordability was a top-of-mind issue for voters in this election,” says TREB President Garry Bhaura. “Housing affordability is a priority for voters, and they want it to be a priority for the incoming municipal councils. Based on the candidate survey responses that TREB received, it appears that housing affordability is also a priority for many candidates.”
- 95 per cent of responding candidates in Toronto, and 86 per cent of responding GTA candidates, indicated that, if elected, they would advocate for updating municipal zoning by-laws and policies to encourage more medium density housing.
- 85 per cent of responding Toronto candidates indicated that they would be willing to consider reforms to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax to adjust it for inflation; 84 per cent of responding GTA candidates indicated that they would, if elected, oppose proposals for any new municipal land transfer tax.
- 85 per cent of responding Toronto candidates, and 79 per cent of responding GTA candidates, indicated that they would support efforts to reduce planning approval times and red tape to facilitate new housing supply.
- 97 per cent of responding Toronto candidates, and 96 per cent of responding GTA candidates, indicated that they would, if elected, advocate for funding from senior levels of government for infrastructure investments.
TREB has also released three new policy briefs on “missing middle” housing supply, housing-related municipal red tape, and infrastructure needs for housing supply, in addition to a brief issued earlier in the campaign on the impact of municipal land transfer taxes. TREB’s recommendations call for newly elected municipal councils to support the creation of much needed housing supply and options.
TREB is calling on councils to:
- Review municipal zoning by-laws and consider changes to allow for more mid-density development such as townhomes.
- Resist community opposition and work with neighbourhoods by improving communication strategies to articulate the ability of mid-density developments to be seamlessly integrated into existing neighbourhoods.
- Prevent any new municipal land transfer taxes in the rest of the GTA.
- Reform the Toronto Land Transfer Tax to adjust the first-time home buyer rebate, and the threshold price at which the higher tax rate kicks in, for inflation, so both keep pace with the current average home price in Toronto now sitting at around $800,000.
- Conduct reviews of municipal planning approval processes for new housing applications with a goal of streamlining and shortening the process.
- Recognize the importance of infrastructure as it relates to housing supply and affordability, and move ahead with critical projects and investments such as regional transit as a key part of strategies targeted to addressing housing needs.