Guelph professor feels housing laws reveals promise however laborious to implement

A University of Guelph real estate professor is not that optimistic that the province’s plan to build 1.5 million more homes in the next 10 years can be achieved.

Paul Anglin with the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics calls the More Homes Built Faster Act good in theory, but difficult to implement.

The bill was introduced in the legislature last week. It would ensure cities, towns and rural communities grow with a mix of ownership and rental housing types that meet the needs of residents.

One of the red flags that Anglin points out in the proposed legislation is that not everyone is in favour of more homes being built, at least not near them.

“That means building new homes near somebody else,” said Anglin. “Often the neighbours will object one way or another unless it is a really new development far away from other people.”

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There is also the workforce shortage that is affecting all sectors in Canada.

“There is a fantastic proportion of skilled labour that will retire in about 10 years,” Anglin said. “That is a big concern for builders.”

Of the new homes being proposed, 18,000 would be built in Guelph.

Mayor Cam Guthrie — who is also chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors — has previously said it all doesn’t have to be new homes built from scratch. He said that “some of it will be zoning changes where we allow more units to be available.”

But Anglin said, “Even if the city could increase the rate of home building, that would result in new homes being built a couple of years from now. That is not a quick fix.”

Like Guthrie, Anglin is also wary of the Ford government’s plan to reduce or eliminate municipal development charges.

“It sounds good politically,” said Anglin. “But the revenue must come from somewhere.”


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