Tag Archives: home affordability

h_ja17_home_realty_fi

Home Realty : The Missing Middle

Latest News


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.

SHARE  

Featured Products


ohba_home_affordability_030917_fi

Housing sector calls on Queen’s Park to take immediate action to address home affordability

Latest News


Housing sector calls on Queen’s Park to take immediate action to address home affordability

(Marketwired) — Population growth and a strong economy in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) have created a high-demand housing market where housing supply is critically low and home prices are becoming out of reach for many families and first-time homebuyers.

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) and the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) are urging the provincial government to create a housing experts task force to provide ideas for increasing housing supply in Ontario, thus alleviating the growing home affordability challenges facing Ontarians.

Off the top, they list four things the government can do to relieve the underlying housing supply crunch that threatens the dream of homeownership for young families and future generations:

Fix the “One Size Fits All” Growth Plan

Instead of a blanket provincial preference for high density, give municipalities more flexibility and create more choice in housing for growing families and empty nesters, such as family homes and townhomes.

Improve the Planning Approvals Process

With better alignment of municipal and provincial housing priorities, including the requirement for updated zoning around transit corridors, the industry can get new homes to the market quickly in exactly the places where we want them.

Address the “Missing Middle” of Housing Supply

There is huge opportunity to modernize outdated zoning laws and build the “missing middle” of housing supply in existing communities that are connected to transit and closer to jobs. This includes innovative solutions like laneway housing and multi-unit homes, such as townhouses, stacked flats or midrise buildings.

Target Infrastructure to Support New Housing Supply

The province should support new housing supply with targeted infrastructure investments to get more housing to the market for consumers.

The OHBA and OREA agree that sustainable, long-term solutions are necessary to get to the root of the affordability problem, and it starts with increasing housing supply. Together, they are appealing to the provincial government to take stock of the housing supply problem and work with real estate industry leaders to design solutions that will improve home affordability for all Ontarians.

“Ninety-five per cent of Ontario’s new housing supply is built by our industry, and new home prices reflect the market conditions affected by government policy, like municipal and provincial approvals,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO at OHBA. “It only makes sense to bring together private sector expertise and government policy makers if we are serious about making home ownership more affordable.”

“The Canadian dream of home ownership is at risk in the GTA,” said Tim Hudak, CEO at OREA. “This is the year for provincial and municipal governments to step up with solutions to ensure the dream of home ownership does not slip away from future generations. The housing supply issue is a real problem, but the solutions exist. We need the government to get real estate experts together on this issue, to hammer out a plan for putting more homes on the market and making home ownership more affordable for young families and first-time buyers.”

OHBA is the voice of the land development, new housing and professional renovation industries in Ontario. OHBA represents over 4,000 member companies, organized through a network of 29 local associations across the province. ohba.ca

OREA represents 70,000 brokers and salespeople who are members of the 39 real estate boards throughout the province. OREA serves its realtor members through a wide variety of professional publications, educational programs, advocacy, and other services. OREA.com


SHARE  

Featured Products