GTA mayoral elections – who won and where they stand on housing
Housing policy, affordability and supply were among the key issues in many municipalities leading up to the Oct. 22 Ontario elections.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and others did their best to alert voters to the issues, and to gage candidates on how well they understood them.
Homes Publishing did its own assessment of a selection of GTA municipalities in the context of housing development.
But now that the results are in (well, most of them), let’s take a look how some of the notable races shook down, and the various policies of the newly elected mayors, with help from BILD.
Tom Mrakas (New)
Housing and growth: Proposes to protect Aurora’s Stable Neighbourhoods from “monster home” infill, by using planning tools such as Interim Control By-laws. Also wants to ensure better land use planning decisions are made through the Local Appeals Body and by implementing a Design Review Panel. He intends to uphold the Official Plan and continue to oppose golf course redevelopment. Improving municipal infrastructure, through complete streets, is also a priority.
Taxes: Proposes to reduce the tax levy.
Patrick Brown (new)
Housing: Proposes to create a streamlined, more efficient approvals process at City Hall for new home construction and renovations across all levels of affordability. Proposes to develop a housing strategy that encourages neighbourhood-sensitive development of rooming houses, basement apartments and in-law suites.
Marianne Meed Ward (New)
Growth: Opposes overdevelopment of Burlington and will seek to control growth by reducing provisions in the Official Plan, as well as accept growth only when infrastructure can handle it.
Housing: Intends to secure affordable housing with inclusionary zoning and require new development to provide a percentage of senior-friendly units. Intends to set greenspace per population targets within reasonable walking distance through prioritizing parkland over cash-in-lieu for major new developments.
Housing and growth: Supports housing and growth management initiatives that will maintain the characteristics of Caledon’s communities and create opportunities for residents and future residents of live, work and retire.
Housing: Proposes to complete the first phase of growth of 7,000 homes. In terms of transportation corridors, plans to work with the Mayor of Bradford to solve gridlock on roads between Hwys. 404 and 400.
Infrastructure: Proposes to work with the Province and local MPP to deal with the delay of the Upper York Sewage Solution which will ultimately eliminate the Holland Landing Sewage Lagoons. Proposes to address the need for quality broadband in the community.
Housing: Proposes to continue to manage difficult conversations around intensification and growth the Province has mandated and the development residents are seeing.
Plans to focus on business growth, the new municipal office, the library and seniors centre expansion project, as well as road beautification in the township.
Housing: Intends to institute an Inclusionary Zoning policy to incentivize the building of new, affordable units. Proposes to form partnerships with leaders in affordable housing to get new buildings in the ground on a faster pace.
Environment: Proposes to work with staff to bolster Green building standards that will improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas and improve urban forest canopy.
Development: Supports Mississauga’s office for a Development Ambassador.
Economy: Top priorities include jobs and the economy, community building and parks recreation and trails. Wants to the Renew Economic Development Strategy and increase jobs in the community. Grow the city’s broadband company to deliver affordable high-speed internet to local businesses. Proposes to keep taxesbelow GTA average.
Growth: Proposes to meet regularly with existing employers and grow local business base.
Community Building: Proposes to protect neighbourhoods – intensify in the right places.
Housing: New housing developments must include options for low/moderate-income families. Create a community inclusivity round table and increase senior-friendly housing and recreation.
Growth: Proposes to continue to protect Glen Abbey through the use of Cultural Heritage Landscape provisions and court challenges.
Environment: Proposes to focus on protecting greenspace and the environment and controlling growth.
Dan Carter (New)
Growth/Housing/Transit: A 4-Pillar Platform includes creating affordable, vibrant, healthy communities that invests in active transportation networks and creates employment opportunities with industries.
Growth: Proposes to continue with the Town’s economic vitality, build a strong community, manage our growth to respect the existing neighbourhoods and lead a responsive and efficient government.
Housing: Proposes to work with the Province and the Region to increase the rental housing supply, maintain the existing rental supply and add affordable ownership homes. Allowing secondary suites in existing homes will also create new housing once new by-laws that monitor the neighbourhoods are in place. Also believes the Town needs to review and update its 10-year-old Development Plan in order to process new development applications. Zoning By-laws also need to be brought into the “urban” town.
Housing: Proposes to build 40,000 affordable rental units over 12 years. Leverage City lands, including lands surrounding TTC Stations.
Property Taxes: Keep property taxes at or below the rate of inflation. Supported City Council’s plan to implement water rate increases dedicated to improving storm and wastewater infrastructure.
Transit: Continue to build out the transit network plan – SmartTrack.
Growth and development: Proposes a seven-point platform, a main concern is the competing interest between farmland and “irresponsible and ill-considered development.” Wants to ensure that growth has clear collaboration with the livelihood of people who depend on the land.
Taxes: Promises to keep Vaughan as one of the lowest taxed municipalities in the GTA. Focus on transit and roads to keep Vaughan moving. Working closely with government partners at all levels to ensure wise investments for new transit initiatives and improvements including the Yonge Subway, VIVANext, as well as road building and widening.
Innovation: Will transform the City of Vaughan into a hub for education, culture, sports and the arts by building the infrastructure required to achieve excellence and improve accessibility.
Other: Continue to excel in environmental stewardship. Support and attract small and large businesses to Vaughan.
Iain Lovatt (New)
Growth: Proposes to preserve heritage that is integrated with future development. Integrating heritage built form into new developments as well as establishing Heritage Conservation Districts and site plan bylaws in heritage areas in town are identified a must.
Development: Within the first 100 days, hopes to assemble a meeting of commercial-industrial landowners to get everyone on the same page, about the 404 corridor and the servicing for the area going forward. Believes that these underserviced and underutilized lands represent about $1 billion in new tax assessment for Whitchurch-Stouffville.