Canada is facing an unprecedented housing crisis. Far less housing is being constructed than is needed to keep pace with population growth. Complex regulatory processes and slow approvals keep many potential developers out of the market. What is more, the housing that does get built often does not address pressing issues tied to climate change, public health, income gaps and racial inequality. Beyond this, the sprawling patterns of land use of the last decades have left municipalities responsible for infrastructure – roads, sewers, and more – that they cannot pay for.
With provincial and municipal elections coming this year, the lack of housing and its unaffordability are among voters’ top concerns. The province of Ontario recently convened a table of experts to publish a report on housing affordability. While the report does present several potential isolated solutions, it specifically notes that it was not in the panel’s mandate to address “affordable housing”.
Proceeding with one of the largest building booms in a generation requires addressing the systemic issues. As the federal government looks to invest unprecedented amounts into housing, a holistic approach that addresses intersections with climate, equity, and municipal financial stability will be key. Getting the right housing built, quickly, will require leveraging technical expertise, embracing regulatory reform and process streamlining, and maintaining an environment open to innovation.
The C4C Housing Systems and Innovation Summit, hosted by the Centre for Cities at Windsor Law, University of Windsor will comprise 4 sessions over 2 days, featuring practitioners, planners, entrepreneurs, politicians, scholars, and lawyers engaged in housing systems reform in Ontario. Sessions will focus on addressing systemic issues and gaps in housing delivery, and the innovative solutions needed to ensure a range of affordable housing options for all Ontarians. Registration is open and free of charge.