What are you doing to address housing affordability in Guelph?

 

Housing in Guelph is unaffordable.  What are you doing about that?


The rising cost of housing is a wake up call for all of us.  It's a problem that is not unique to Guelph and the contributing factors are complex.  It's really easy to blame politicians when there are no easy solutions.  The current housing affordability crisis is a perfect storm -- market demand is high, landlord rents are up, cost of labour and building supplies has skyrocketed, influx of GTA and investment buyers into Guelph, job uncertainty, CoVID, rising cost of energy, and more.  Here's a great article that tries to shed light on what is happening in the current housing market in places like Guelph.

There are predictions that the market is stabilizing as interest rates rise.  But it doesn't solve the problem.  

When we talk about "affordable housing" in Guelph we tend to talk about the cost of home ownership or monthly rental rates.  Market housing is subject to what is happening in the economy and local real estate market.  It always has been, nothing new here.  You will hear candidates say "build, build, build."  Building more homes isn't the answer.  It's too simple a solution and doesn’t factor in the cost of growth and long-term impact of ignoring sound planning principles.

We need to talk about the need for social, co-operative and supportive housing.   Most homebuilders and developers are for-profit market housing providers and what we need is more social, co-operative and supportive housing, which is where government intervention (at all levels) is most needed. Locally, we subsidize growth through taxation. We should be creating stronger planning policy that requires a percentage of below-market housing included in every new development application.

Housing is only one part of a larger affordability crisis. The ongoing cost of utilities, food and transportation added to rents (and mortgages) contributes to the problem. All new housing built with public funds should be net zero and built with renewable energy generation and storage. This will lower the ongoing monthly carrying costs for residents.