Tag Archives: affordable housing

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How the Liberals missed the boat on affordable housing

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How the Liberals missed the boat on affordable housing

Now that we’ve had a couple months to digest the most recent federal budget, we can now safely say Ottawa missed the boat on affordable housing.

Indeed, the Liberals had a golden opportunity to make some simple tweaks to the mortgage system in Canada that would have allowed more first-time buyers to get into the housing market and assist second-time buyers to move up, without major changes to the policies implemented over the last two years to cool the market. Industry groups across the country including the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Ontario Home Builders’ Association, various real estate associations, boards of trade, lenders and housing advocates, have all beseeched the government to take some steps to ease up on the various stress tests and mortgage restrictions. Most of these requests were embodied in a list of recommendations from the Chair of the Federal Liberal Housing Affordability Caucus, Francesco Sorbara. Sadly, only one of the many recommendations was implemented.

Little impact

Instead, the Liberals decided to use taxpayer money to the tune of up to $1.25 billion to assist first-time buyers to purchase homes by advancing up to 10 per cent of the purchase price of new homes and a five per cent of the price of resale homes in conjunction with a CMHC-insured policy. Incomes were capped at $120,000 annually, and the loan portion cannot exceed four times annual income. Effectively, the program by its very capping of the loan portion, excluded major centres such as Vancouver and Toronto, which have suffered significant declines in both sales and prices over two years. Much criticism has already been levelled against the proposed program as having little impact on increasing housing affordability.

There is no question that these proposals will assist first-time buyers of homes in less expensive areas with the biggest beneficiaries being places like Montreal and western provinces. However, the government will have t0 advance significant sums of taxpayer monies by way of repayable loans plus significant cost to administer the program.

This is not to say there isn’t some merit to this program. However, there are many private, non-profit institutions such as Trillium and Options for Homes which offer similar second mortgage loans and share in the equity upside with purchasers. The government has not totally revealed how the sharing will work, but has indicated that there would be no interest costs during the term of the loan.

On the other hand, the recommendations of the Liberal Housing Affordability Caucus would not cost the government a single dime, and would have allowed a broader section of the marketplace, including those in Vancouver and Toronto, to gain access to housing markets which have now been closed to them because of the new and tightened mortgage rules.

Some of these proposals included:

  1.  Exempting mortgage renewals from the stress test. Currently, institutions, whether those refinancing existing loans with the same borrower or new institutions, are
    applying the new stress test to existing loans. This can put a homeowner in danger of having to pay down his loan in order to qualify even though he has been fully complied with all of the obligations;
  2. Extending the amortization period for blended payment mortgages from 25 years to 30 years. Although this seems like a small adjustment, it would lower overall carrying costs for buyers and materially expand the number of eligible purchasers for financing. Again, 30-year amortization is fairly standard in most countries and in Canada it was raised to 35 years at the height of the financial crisis in 2009;
  3. Modify the current stress test. Requiring purchasers to be able to carry a mortgage which is two per cent above the quoted rate or meet the posted five-year rate (which is usually higher than the real five-year rate) has done enough damage, particularly in the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets, but more so, has impacted on other markets that were not overheated. Some minor adjustments would have made a big difference. The suggestion was to have a declining rate stress test such that the percentage over the proposed mortgage rate (now two per cent) would decline the longer the term of the mortgage that was being obtained. For five- or seven-year mortgages, purchasers are locked in and protected from having to face significant interest rate increases for many years and did not need such a stringent stress test to protect them from increased rates.
  4. Increase the Home Buyers’ Plan which allows purchasers to borrow from their RRSPs. This proposal was in fact partially implemented with the limit of $25,000 being increased to $35,000; and
  5. Increase the GST/HST rebate thresholds of $400,000 to reflect today’s current marketplaces, as proposed by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. When GST came out in 1991, the level of $400,000 was supposed to be adjusted periodically for inflation. There has not been one adjustment since 1991 and there is no recognition of variations between regions of average prices. Again, this recommendation was ignored.

Markets on ice

In reality, the Liberals were looking for flashy, vote getting, news catching type of proposals that would show that the government is putting its money behind first-time buyers. Making adjustments to the stress test and amortization period really isn’t sexy, but would have had a far greater beneficial impact with no cost to the government. The Liberals have responded to this criticism that the prior changes in the stress test are doing their job in cooling the markets and should not be changed at this time. In fact, many markets have not only cooled, but have been put on ice – such as the lowrise market in GTA for instance.

Leor Margulies is a partner at Robins Appleby LLP and a member of the board of directors of BILD.

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Ontario government commits to housing action plan

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Ontario government commits to housing action plan

Ontario web
Steve Clark, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The Ontario government says it is committed to a housing plan that makes more good quality places to live available for “the hardworking people of the province.”

“In communities all across Ontario, people are struggling to find housing they can afford,” says Steve Clark, minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re taking action to help create more housing faster, give people more choice and bring down housing costs.”

Ontario is knocking down barriers to people getting housing they can afford that meets their needs, through:

 

  • Legislation that would make new rental units exempt from rent control, effective Nov. 15, 2018, while preserving rent increase limits for existing tenants
  • Ending the previous government’s expensive and ineffective Development Charges Rebate Program
  • Seeking public input on ways the government can remove barriers to building the right kind of housing in the right places. This input will inform a broader housing supply action plan. The consultation includes a downloadable toolkit so community groups can host local roundtables and share their thoughts with the province.

 

The demand for housing in Ontario has risen rapidly in recent years, driven by strong population growth and low interest rates. However, the supply of housing has not kept pace, leading to higher prices and rents.

Building more housing will also help make Ontario more attractive to businesses and investors, restoring the province to its rightful place as the economic engine of Canada.

“High housing costs are a barrier to job creators, large and small, because employees need affordable places to live,” says Todd Smith, minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Making housing more affordable will encourage people to start and grow businesses, right here at home.”

BILD reaction

“The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) of the GTA is very supportive of the development of a Housing Supply Action Plan for Ontario,” says David Wilkes, president and CEO. “Shortfall in supply is a key factor undermining housing affordability, increasing rents and creating barriers to home ownership. We applaud the Ford government’s commitment  to address key issues affecting the housing supply and ultimately the affordability of housing in the GTA.”

TREB approves

The Toronto Real Estate Board, for its part, applauds the Province’s announcement.

“The Toronto Real Estate Board applauds the provincial government for taking action to ensure that our city, region and province have an adequate supply and appropriate mix of housing,” TREB said in a release.

Nowhere are housing supply and mix issues more of a priority than in the GTA, where TREB’s 53,000 members operate, the association says. “TREB realtors work with home buyers and sellers every day and they see the challenges caused by inadequate supply and mix of housing.

“We look forward to participating in the provincial government’s consultation process on this issue and helping our region and province to remain one of the best places to live in the world.”

RELATED READING

Delays in approval process contributing to housing affordability issue in GTA

7 factors that will affect GTA housing in 2019 – and 5 reasons to consider buying NOW

5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

 

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Toronto Oct 25 18

GTA new home market shows some improvement in September

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GTA new home market shows some improvement in September

Toronto Oct 25 18

The GTA new home market saw increases in September over the previous month, both in terms of new project openings and new home sales, particularly sales of condominiums, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

There were 1,747 new homes sold in September, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new-home market intelligence – a sizeable increase over August’s 974 new home sales. Condominiums in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units accounted for 1,494 new home sales in September, down 20 per cent from September 2017 and down 20 per cent from the 10-year average. Single-family home sales, with 253 detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses) sold, were down 28 per cent from last September and down 77 per cent from the 10-year average.

MORE PROJECT OPENINGS

With 10 condominium apartment projects and seven single-family home projects opening in September – a significant increase from August’s two project openings – remaining inventory increased to 13,952 units, comprised of 8,820 condo apartment units and 5,132 single-family units. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings.

“It appears more buyers – and builders – are starting to come in from the sidelines,” says Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “The increase from August in both new condominium apartment sales and the number of units in new projects launched was somewhat stronger than the typical September bump alone would suggest.”

NEW HOME SUPPLY

David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO, says it’s all welcome news, but points out that consumers still lack a range of options in the new home market, due to lack of supply. The 8,820 units remaining in the condo apartment inventory represent about five months’ worth of inventory, based on the pace of sales in the past 12 months. A healthy new home market should have nine to 12 months’ worth of inventory.

This shortfall in the supply of condominiums partly accounts for the closing gap between the prices of condos and single-family homes in the GTA. In September, the benchmark price for condo apartments rose again, to $789,643, up 19.4 per cent over the last 12 months. The benchmark price for single-family homes softened again to $1.12 million, down 7.1 per cent over the last 12 months.

MUNICIPAL PARTNERS

“In the lead-up to the municipal elections, BILD succeeded in raising housing supply and affordability as major election issues,” says Wilkes. “Now we look forward to working with our municipal partners to address the barriers that stand in the way of building the housing our region needs to accommodate growth. Some straightforward steps include making sure that government charges on new homes are fair, funding and building critical infrastructure, cutting red tape and speeding up building permits and inspections.”

RELATED READING

GTA mayoral elections – who won and where they stand on housing

6 Ontario municipal elections to watch regarding housing

GTA new home market quiet in August

 

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5 steps

5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

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5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

5 steps

Promising to create more housing supply was the first step, now industry leaders are calling on the Ford Government to action solutions that will bring much-needed supply into the marketplace and help solve the housing affordability issue facing many Ontarians.

This week, leaders from housing associations – the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Ontario Home Builders Association (OHBA) and the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) – gathered at the second annual Housing Summit event to examine bold policy prescriptions that will help Millennials get their hands on the keys to their first home.

“Keeping the dream of home ownership alive in Ontario requires bold policies and action from the provincial government,” says Tim Hudak, chief executive officer, OREA.

“First and foremost, to get more new homes in the marketplace, the building approvals process must be streamlined and zoning updated to allow for more homes in the right places. The best and fastest way to give Ontario’s first-time homebuyers a break is to eliminate the punishing land transfer tax for first-time buyers.”

“#Homebelievers know that government can support more housing choice and supply needed to make the great Canadian dream of home ownership a reality in existing, expanding, and established communities across Ontario,” adds OHBA chief executive officer Joe Vaccaro.

As advocates for greater home supply and home affordability in the province, OREA, OHBA and FRPO say the solutions to keeping housing within reach for young Ontarians include:

1 Speed up the planning approvals process

The home development approvals process can take up to 10 years in some parts of Ontario. Better alignment of municipal and provincial housing priorities, will get new homes to the market faster.

2 Build more homes and build them higher around and above transit stations

Use “As of Right” zoning to ensure housing intensification along rail transit lines and stations, exactly where many Millennials want and need them.

3 Provide first-time home buyer tax relief

Eliminate the land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers or dramatically increase the current rebate offered to first-timers.

4 Bring back the Ontario Municipal Board

The traditional role of the OMB has been to take the NIMBY out of housing decisions. Bringing back the OMB means evidence-based planning decisions, which will create more housing supply and choice.

5 Create new rental stock by reducing barriers and red tape

Adjust the annual rent increase guideline to CPI plus two per cent, implement a 20-year rent control rolling exemption on new construction and maintain vacancy decontrol.

RELATED READING

5 affordable neighbourhoods for detached homes in 416 and 905

Keesmaat’s 100,000 housing plan doomed to fail

The answer to affordable housing is supply, supply, supply

Build For Growth: Housing Affordability

 

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Home Builder: Let’s Get Affordable Housing Right

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Home Builder: Let’s Get Affordable Housing Right

Government needs to put incentives, programs and partnership frameworks in place

I believe that the health, prosperity and quality of life in the GTA depends on access to quality housing for households of all income levels. Affordable housing gives safety and stability to people with low to mid incomes who are often single parents, seniors, recent immigrants and people with disabilities.

To address the needs of the growing concerns of this issue, the provincial government amended the Promoting Affordable Housing Act, adding inclusionary zoning as a new planning tool for municipalities. If done in partnership with the building industry, inclusionary zoning could ensure that affordable housing gets built in a way that promotes socio-economically diverse neighbourhoods.

The new legislation that passed in 2017 gives local government the option to establish policies that would require housing applications to include a certain percentage of affordable units within a development.

The government consulted with municipalities, developers, housing advocates and other interested parties on a framework for inclusionary zoning in Ontario. The government received a broad range of comments and suggestions during the consultation.

The intent of inclusionary zoning is to encourage development of affordable units that would not otherwise be built. For inclusionary zoning to be successful, the building industry needs to be supported by incentives and partnerships. We need to strike a balance between creating affordable housing and encouraging developers to build it.

The provincial government is also contemplating pre-zoning properties that would make the approval system more efficient, giving residents a voice in how their community should grow.

The Urban Land Institute, a U.S. think tank on land use and real estate, published a report in 2016 that provides an in-depth study of how a growing number of cities have adopted inclusionary zoning policies to help increase affordable housing without impacting the overall affordability of housing for everyone.

For example, New York City has voluntary inclusionary zoning and made the program attractive for developers through tax incentives in exchange for including affordable units in their building, or another building within a kilometre of the community district.

Closer to home, the City of Mississauga introduced their affordable housing strategy, titled Making Room for the Middle, that introduces a flexible approach. The city brought the industry to the table to work in partnership to identify a list of tools to help build units sooner by pre-zoning land, decreasing development charges and updating official plans.

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and its members are committed in working collaboratively with our municipal partners to support the delivery of affordable housing as demonstrated by our active participation in these initiatives and discussions across the GTA.

We need to find ways to balance the need for affordable housing to keep all homes in the GTA affordable for people to purchase. Development is expensive and if the building industry is to include more affordable units in a development, the government needs to put the incentives, programs and partnership frameworks in place that will make projects viable without undermining housing affordability.

David Wilkes is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on: Twitter.com/BILDGTA , Facebook.com/BILDGTA , YouTube.com/BILDGTA and BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

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Canadians believe we need affordable housing solutions

Canadians believe we need affordable housing solutions

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Canadians believe we need affordable housing solutions

A majority of Canadians have made it clear: we are not paying enough attention to affordable housing needs and solutions, according to a new Habitat for Humanity Affordable Housing Survey.

“Ten years ago, affordable housing was a hidden issue – it affected so many people and yet no one was talking about it,” said Mark Rodgers, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “It’s clear from the results of this survey that people understand how important having access to decent and affordable housing is. But they feel that not enough is being done to solve the problem. At Habitat, we’ll continue to partner with communities, governments, as well as the not-for-profit and private sectors to provide long-term solutions to affordable housing issues for working families, while urging the government to include affordable homeownership as part of the solution as it develops a national housing strategy for all Canadians.”

On behalf of Habitat for Humanity, PSB Researched surveyed 1,000 people in the United States and Canada, examining the perceptions, challenges and benefits of affordable housing in both countries. The survey was conducted ahead of Habitat for Humanity’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, which will build over 150 homes in Canada this summer.

“Rosalynn and I are pleased to be bringing together volunteers to build alongside families during this year’s Carter Work Project,” said Carter while at a build site in Edmonton. “Housing affordability in Canada is at an all-time low. We are proud supporters of Habitat for Humanity and grateful to everyone who is joining us in our efforts to bring affordable housing to families across the country.”

“The homes we are building in Canada will bring much needed stability to so many families,” said Rodgers. “We are thrilled to be welcoming President and Mrs. Carter to Canada and to see so many communities across the country coming together during this one week to help empower families through affordable homeownership.”

Since 1984, the Carters have traveled around the world with Habitat, donating their time and voices annually to build and improve homes and raise awareness of the critical need for decent and affordable housing. Inspiring millions over the last three decades, the Carters have worked alongside nearly 100,000 volunteers in 14 countries to build, renovate and repair more than 4,000 homes.

Homeownership remains a top achievement for most people. Nine out of 10 Canadians (91 per cent) say that owning a home is one of their greatest achievements in life. Among renters, a majority of Canadians (77 per cent) cite owning a home as one of their top goals.

While homeownership has become much more challenging for Canadians, it remains completely out of reach for many low-income families. That means too many are without access to safe, secure and affordable housing. Habitat’s model of affordable homeownership bridges a gap for people, providing working families on low incomes with the opportunity to purchase their own Habitat home.

Survey respondents identified high cost as the top barrier to homeownership (91 per cent in Canada), followed closely by difficulties obtaining a mortgage (75 per cent). Most do not expect the situation to get much better: a majority of Canadian respondents (84 per cent) believe housing costs will go up in the next five years.

According to the survey, most Canadians have struggled with housing costs at some point in their lives, and over 40 per cent currently struggle to pay housing costs. In order to pay those costs, many have had to cut back in other important areas such as food (40 per cent), dental care (30 per cent) or education (12 per cent).

Habitat’s model of affordable homeownership helps families build strength, stability and independence – and builds stronger, healthier communities at the same time. Affordable housing is a foundation for reducing poverty and achieving economic growth, with the potential to positively impact an even wider range of societal issues.

A 2015 Boston Consulting Group report on Habitat for Humanity Canada’s social impact calculated that for every $1 invested in Habitat, there are $4 worth of benefits to the community, resulting in almost $48 million of benefits in 2016. According to the survey, many Canadians know that access to decent and affordable housing can contribute to a community’s overall health and help kids do better in school. At least eight out of 10 Canadians agree that having affordable, stable housing contributes to public health (87 per cent), community safety (90 per cent), economic growth (92 per cent) and children’s education (91 per cent).

Continuing Habitat’s action on this issue, from July 9 to 14, former President Carter and his wife participated in Habitat’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, focusing their efforts on Edmonton and Winnipeg. Almost 50 communities across Canada will be participating, helping build over 150 homes alongside 150 families to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary.

habitat.ca


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Home Realty : The Missing Middle

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Home Realty : The Missing Middle

Creative concepts could do a lot help housing affordability

It’s the one thing everyone in the GTA seems to be talking about these days: the soaring price of real estate. It’s a sticky wicket to be sure, and it’s left many wondering if they’ll ever be able to find a place to call home in this bustling metropolis. Here are three creative concepts that could do much to alter the affordability equation.

LANEWAY HOUSING

The City of Toronto has more than 2,400 laneways and publicly owned corridors covering 250 linear kilometres. Laneway houses are small homes built above garages that face these laneways. Development of such secondary suites — which are serviced from the main house like a basement apartment — could inject considerably more affordable homes into the Toronto rental market. And advocacy groups, like Lanescape and Evergreen, are partnering with the city to look at ways to clear the bureaucratic path toward the development of laneway housing.

This kind of gentle intensification can add value to existing properties for owners, and, in providing a much needed infusion of supply into the rental market, provide more people access to affordable housing.

ILLUSTRATION COURTESY LANESCAPE

PARASITE HOMES

They’re known in Paris as “parasite homes,” and they would be an ingenious solution to the affordability problem here in the GTA. These apartments are perched upon the roofs of existing buildings. The prefabricated units are built offsite then bolted to the structure with steel supports, a construction process that takes under a year. And these units are priced 40 per cent cheaper than comparable properties.

Paris is calling for 70,000 new dwellings to be built each year, and parasite homes are a good way to squeeze all those new homes into the densely populated French capital. Parasite homes are an innovative idea and one that could help Toronto to provide more people with housing options they can afford. And building owners would also stand to make a good return for thinking a bit outside the box.

IN-LAW SUITES

Don’t let the name fool you. In-law suites — secondary dwellings within a home — can be rented out to anybody you choose. And they’re growing in popularity as more and more people in the GTA face affordability challenges.

In-law suites are cheaper to rent than standalone apartments and they provide an effective and relatively easy way for homeowners to pay off their mortgages or pad their retirement incomes. Of course, these suites can be used to house aging in-laws (but it’s probably not cool to charge granny rent). Or, perhaps more common in today’s economy, it could be the cash-strapped younger generations remaining at home, but wanting an independent living situation.

Secondary flats typically include sleeping and living areas, a basic kitchen and a separate entrance. They can be created via a garage conversion or basement reno. A unit could be a bump-out or addition on the home. Or it might be a separate cottage or a back house on the property.

Owners could also create an in-law apartment by combining rooms in the existing house without changing the original footprint.

The governing bodies of the GTA have to be more creative and open minded in dealing with the shortage and affordability issues in our housing market.

Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years. She has sold and overseen the sale of over $15 billion worth of real estate and, with Debbie at the helm, In2ition has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative new home and condo sales companies. In2ition has received numerous awards from the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

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Condo Market

Condo Market: Wood Is Good

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Condo Market: Wood Is Good

Spring is in full bloom.

The temperatures are surpassing the teens, and the ground is thawed nicely. Having said that, the For Sale signs that usually find their way onto everyone’s front lawns don’t seem to be showing up as in the past.

The market is great; everything is selling, but there’s not a lot of ‘everything’ out there. Both the new and resale market is aching for new product. The condo world remains brisk, with record breaking sales, hundreds of suites at a time. I’ve noticed recent launches in downtown, North York, Vaughan, Scarborough and lots more around our great city. The apartment style condos remain a great option in this market, with average new homes in sometimes less than average locations fetching over a million, effectively twice as much as the new condos that are gracing our market.

Affordability remains key. And supply is low. With the ongoing growth of our city, the shortage of available product is very much a ‘now’ phenomenon. And, despite all the great condo choices out there, many of the new launches will bring product to the market a few years down the road anyways.

Great for the future but not for those who need their new digs now. There are 100,000 new Torontonians yearly, yet new homes and condos are built for one out of every three or so. It just doesn’t add up. So, despite the harsh realities of supply and demand, there is a trend towards lowrise housing. Single family homes are expensive to build and service. And there is a growing need for density to accommodate would-be buyers.

Shared walls, lawns and parking facilities can lead to more affordable housing as construction costs are lower. Energy consumption and everything green often improves in these scenarios, helping our green initiatives and mandates. So, the world of semi detached homes and townhomes expand to the next level. Back to back towhhomes are popular and appearing everywhere. Back yards move to the front, helping people orient to their neighbours if they wish, yet preserving the ability to build larger inside their four walls.

Stacked townhomes are popping up everywhere. Parking is usually underground, and outdoor space is often in the form of a balcony or deck. Some really great outdoor spaces are appearing on the rooftops of some of these great new offerings, allowing people to enjoy their ‘view from the top’; often a nice 30 or 40 feet above grade.

Multiple higher density projects offer larger spaces than many of the typical highrises we find in our market. And as they’re often build with wood, they rise faster and become new homes much sooner. Common areas tend to be simplistic, keeping maintenance fees low while maintaining beautiful surrounds for the residents. And, with all of today’s enhancements in construction, soundproofing in particular, combined with the energy efficiencies these boast, buyers often find ‘more for less’, something that is very rare in our current market environment. This is why, in many ways, it’s quite clear that ‘wood is good’ and, more importantly, here to stay…Happy home hunting!

MARK COHEN is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA.
condostorecanada.com
mark@condostorecanada.com

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Budget good for National Housing Strategy

Budget good for National Housing Strategy

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Budget good for National Housing Strategy

(CNW) — Habitat for Humanity Canada is applauding the federal government for making historic investments in affordable housing. The budget provides the necessary fuel to support the implementation of a National Housing Strategy.

Habitat for Humanity is pleased that the budget invests in a range of initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing and ensure that Canadians have affordable housing that meets their needs. It is also encouraged to see additional funding to help address the need for improved housing in the North, support for Indigenous peoples not living on reserves, and making more federal lands available for affordable housing, as well as the significant commitment of $5 billion towards a new National Housing Fund.

Like investments in infrastructure, investments in housing are good for the economy, communities and families, Habitat for Humanity said in a statement. Housing contributes to stronger communities and provides a social return on investment that results in improved health, educational and job outcomes. In the case of Habitat homeownership, families no longer rely on government assistance for housing and move from social/rental housing into affordable homeownership, creating a space for others in need.

Habitat is committed to a continued partnership with the federal government in developing and implementing the initiatives outlined in the budget and ensuring that Canadians have the opportunity to access affordable homeownership as one of the options resulting from this budget.

“The National Housing Strategy is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for change,” said Mark Rodgers, president and CEO, Habitat for Humanity Canada. “To be effective, we must invest in all parts of the housing continuum, including affordable homeownership.

“Habitat for Humanity Canada is working to bridge the gap between social/rental housing and market housing, and we are looking forward to continuing our work with government in making that happen.”

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit organization working toward a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to call home. Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 56 local associations working in every province and territory, it provides a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world.

Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global non-profit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit habitat.ca.


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Co-living could be answer to GTA housing crunch

Co-living could be answer to GTA housing crunch

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Co-living could be answer to GTA housing crunch

Toronto Star

The watchwords for the GTA real estate markets in 2017 will be adaptation and innovation, as residents, the building industry and governments alike face the challenges of ceaseless demand, limited supply and record-high house pricing.

Housing affordability has never been a more critical concern.

In 2016, the average house in the GTA made more money than the average household, with detached home prices breaking the $1 million mark and ending last year at $1,016,145 — a mind-boggling 23.1 per cent spike year-over-year, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

https://www.thestar.com/life/homes/2017/01/28/co-living-could-be-answer-to-gta-housing-crunch.html


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