Comment 122595

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted March 19, 2018 at 14:29:43 in reply to Comment 122592

The whole province is in a horrible housing crunch. Maybe the right thing for cities to do is minimize the barriers to large multi-unit builds like this? After all, the current approvals process can take a year and a giant pile of money, and then still get incredible pushback from stakeholders like neighbors and city staff and leaders.

This has real consequences for everyone, not just "developer can't make money" - the reason we have such a problem with affordable housing is that even middle-class young people can't afford housing, pushing a tremendous block of the public onto a waiting list for affordable homes that vastly outstrip the government's ability to fulfill. A growing city that's not building enough units is a game of musical chairs where the people with the least means are the ones who end up without a chair. So shouldn't we be trying to remove the obstacles to making more chairs?

Compare to a city like Tokyo, which has no concept of variances or community consultation whatsoever. The zoning in Japan is federally designed - the fed sets the rules and the builder abides by them and the neighbors and local politicians are not involved. Tokyo is the largest city in the world and is (in spite of Japan's shrinking population) a growing city... and its housing is substantially cheaper than it homes are even here in Hamilton, much less Toronto.

I mean, everybody's talking about gentrification after the Locke attacks... and we're hearing a lot of elaborate discussions, but imho it's all coming from a basic, elemental problem: Southern Ontario is getting people faster than it's getting houses, which drives prices up. Not only that, but Ontario's finances will be in catastrophic trouble if we don't grow faster. For example the Fair Hydro Act only works if Ontario achieves some spectacular growth numbers where a massive number of ratepayers flow in to reduce the per-person cost of power power infrastructure.

Maybe it's time to say that densification projects genuinely should be on an approval fast-track, for the sake of the environment and our housing crunch?

Shouldn't the onus be placed on the city to come up with a good reason to block this kind of development, instead of being on the developer to prove why it's okay?

I realize I'm speaking from privilege since my house is nowhere near a location where this kind of project would be attempted.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2018-03-19 14:30:19

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