TORONTO — The Ontario Ministries of Housing and Municipal Affairs have issued a report outlining discussions held during the second meeting of a Housing Forum organized to address the province’s housing needs.
The meeting focused on the "missing middle" in the Ontario housing market, which includes medium density housing such as row homes, townhomes, multiplexes and low-rise apartments.
"In recent months, there has been a great deal of discussion about whether the creation of more missing middle housing can help address the region's housing affordability challenges and create complete communities that are mixed use, walkable, transit supportive, and that make more efficient use of land and infrastructure," reads a statement issued by the Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy Peter Milczyn along with Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro.
"With the Housing Forum, we examined the barriers and potential solutions to building more of this type of housing, and will be further exploring these ideas to increase housing affordability in the province."
The Housing Forum consists of a group of economists, builders, academics, planners, municipal representatives and other professionals in the real estate sector that provide a range of perspectives and ideas on the state of Ontario's housing market and assess the progress of Ontario's Fair Housing Plan.
According to the statement, the government of Ontario is already opening up underused provincial lands in downtown Toronto to deliver 2,000 new market and affordable rental housing units in the city, and will be reviewing other provincially owned sites to see whether there are opportunities to expand the program.
The recently launched Housing Delivery Group will work with individual developers, municipalities and other organizations to reduce barriers to specific housing projects to increase the supply of rental and affordable housing.
A Development Approval Roundtable has also been established which includes senior provincial, municipal and industry representatives. These initiatives are aimed to cut red tape and bring housing to market faster, the release adds.