Housing crisis

Housing crisis: Time to act, says OHBA chief

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Ontario needs 1 million new homes to be built over next 10 years, says OHBA

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The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) has unveiled a social media campaign it hopes will help ease the current housing crisis and give new homebuyers the opportunity to express their concerns.

Called Cut The****, visitors to the OHBA website (at ohba.ca) can either Take The Pledge (sign a pledge and stay informed about the campaign) or Demand Action (forward their concerns to local candidates and provincials running for office.)

The campaign was unveiled at the OHBA’s annual Industry Leaders Dinner last Monday night. The OHBA estimates the province needs to build one million new homes over the next 10 years to address the current shortage. By comparison, 670,000 new homes have been built in the past 10 years.

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“It’s no secret that the general public or those looking for a home are upset, frustrated and feeling anxious,” OHBA President Bob Schickedanz said in an interview. “Well, we (new home builders) are also frustrated, Schickedanz says on behalf of the 4,000 member companies/new home builders organized into 27 local associations across the province.

Schickedanz recognizes a wide range of reasons for the housing shortage: slow approval process, red tape, construction delays, lack of skilled trades, lack of infrastructure – all of this has been recognized for some time now – but the lacking was the sense of urgency to address all these concerns.

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Some measures have been put in place — Bill 109 (the More Homes for Everyone Act), the recent Housing Affordability Task Force and its many recommendations to increase the supply of housing, Job Ready Programs — but “in general, this won’t translate into big change in the next six months, we’re realistic about that,” Schickedanz says.

Schickedanz also says the housing crisis has become a province-wide problem with a ripple effect as young families “drive to qualify,” i.e. forced to move to higher large centers such as the GTA for small towns and villages in Ontario,

The upcoming elections at both the provincial and municipal levels provide citizens with an excellent opportunity to voice their concerns.

“When we don’t build enough homes, prices go up dramatically and lead to the mess we’re in right now,” warns OHBA.

For more information visit http://www.ohba.ca

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