Monday, October 3rd, 2022
Guelph, Ontario - the Guelph & District Association of REALTORS® (GDAR) hosted a Municipal Election Housing Forum at the Italian Canadian Club in Guelph today. All six Guelph Municipal Election Mayoral and Councilor candidates were invited. Incumbent Mayor Cam Guthrie, John Edward Krusky, and William Albabish were joined by nearly 100 REALTORS® at this sold-out breakfast event, as well as 25 of the local councilor candidates.
The breakfast provided a vital opportunity for local REALTORS® to network with community leaders. These relationships are essential for ensuring that local housing issues are at the forefront of decision-makers and that stakeholders in the real estate industry are well-informed of items impacting themselves as professionals and homeowners at large.
GDAR's member REALTORS® were invited to submit questions related to the real estate industry and housing issues in advance of the event. The same invitation was extended to the Guelph Home Builders Association, who weighed in on the issues and offered to continue lending their expertise to our Government & External Relations Committee for future local housing events.
The Mayoral candidates were presented with three questions in advance of the discussion and each candidate was given two minutes to answer the questions below, in randomly selected order.
Ontario is facing a housing affordability crisis unlike we have ever experienced before. Pandemic-related factors, limited supply, and changing demographics have resulted in skyrocketing rent and housing prices across the entire province. The average priced detached home in Guelph is over $1 million, up over 45% from 2020. We are already seeing the effects of the affordability crisis first-hand. Young families are pulling up roots and moving to other jurisdictions. In a global economy that puts a premium on attracting talent, we stand to lose our edge as one of the most attractive places to raise a family or start a business because of the runaway cost of housing. If elected, would you support ending exclusionary local zoning rules to increase much needed gentle density in urban neighbourhoods to allow for the building of attainable housing such as duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes on lots traditionally zoned for single-family housing and fast-tracking processes for property conversions from commercial to mixed-residential?
The increased cost of construction materials and a lack of skilled labour are making it extremely difficult for home builders to deliver housing and as an industry we are falling way behind in meeting the needs of supply for both affordable and market housing in our community. In Ontario, we currently have a shortage of 500,000 homes which is driving the prices up and we will need another 1 million to satisfy the forecasted demand created by a growing population by 2031. If elected, what would you do to help address the cost of construction and what incentives, if any, would you support to promote new construction and eliminate red tape and other development costs to help bring homes to market?
Our REALTOR® members and industry-related stakeholders that are here today are concerned about the current housing situation in Guelph. Please share with them a final statement on what steps you would take to support local housing issues.
Additional questions were put forward to the candidates during the event including:
Can you provide additional perspective on conversion from residential to mixed?
What about the permits for coach homes?
Guelph has older infrastructure that might impede growth, how do we fix that?
Guelph Politico and Guelph Today reported on the event: see the full story and candidate responses here.
GDAR advocates for local housing issues at all levels of government. Our Government & External Relations Committee works to build relationships with key government officials as well as industry stakeholders and looks forward to continuing this work with our newly elected officials in the coming term.