Toronto Real Estate Board Releases Recommendations on Housing Affordability and Supply and the Views of Over 200 GTA Municipal Election Councillors and Mayoral Candidates on Key Housing Issues

Toronto Real Estate Board Releases Recommendations on Housing Affordability and Supply and the Views of Over 200 GTA Municipal Election Councillors and Mayoral Candidates on Key Housing Issues

TORONTO, October 19, 2018 — With municipal elections only days away, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released recommendations on what newly elected councillors, mayors, and regional chairs across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can do to ensure housing affordability and choice for home buyers and renters.

TREB has also released the results of responses received from over 200 municipal election candidates from across the GTA. Candidates were asked to respond to a TREB survey asking for their views on key housing issues that are the subject of TREB’s recommendations. 

Both the policy briefs and candidate survey responses can be viewed at UnlockMyHousingOptions.com.

“A recent poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs showed that housing affordability was a top-of-mind issue for voters in this election. Housing affordability is a priority for voters, and they want it to be a priority for the incoming municipal councils. Based on the candidate survey responses that TREB received, it appears that housing affordability is also a priority for many candidates,” said Garry Bhaura, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.

TREB sent a survey regarding housing-related issues to Toronto and GTA municipal candidates, and received responses from over 200 of them:

  • 95% of responding candidates in Toronto, and 86% of responding GTA candidates, indicated that, if elected, they would advocate for updating municipal zoning by-laws and policies to encourage more medium density housing.
  • 85% of responding Toronto candidates indicated that they would be willing to consider reforms to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax to adjust it for inflation. 84% of responding GTA candidates indicated that they would, if elected, oppose proposals for any new municipal land transfer tax.
  • 85% of responding Toronto candidates, and 79% of responding GTA candidates, indicated that they would support efforts to reduce planning approval times and red tape to facilitate new housing supply.
  • 97% of responding Toronto candidates, and 96% of responding GTA candidates, indicated that they would, if elected, advocate for funding from senior levels of government for infrastructure investments.

This week, TREB also released three new policy briefs on “missing middle” housing supply, housing-related municipal red tape, and infrastructure needs for housing supply , in addition to a brief issued earlier in the campaign on the impact of municipal land transfer taxes. TREB’s recommendations call for newly elected municipal councils to support the creation of much needed housing supply and options.  Specifically, TREB is calling on councils to

  • review municipal zoning by-laws and consider changes to allow for more mid-density development such as townhomes.
  • resist community opposition and work with neighbourhoods  by improving communication strategies to articulate the ability of mid-density developments to be seamlessly integrated into existing neighbourhoods.
  • prevent any new municipal land transfer taxes in the rest of the GTA.
  • reform the Toronto Land Transfer Tax to adjust the first-time home buyer rebate, and the threshold price at which the higher tax rate kicks in, for inflation, so both keep pace with the current average home price in Toronto now sitting at around $800,000.
  • conduct reviews of municipal planning approval processes for new housing applications with a goal of streamlining and shortening the process.
  • recognize the importance of infrastructure as it relates to housing supply and affordability, and move ahead with critical projects and investments such as regional transit as a key part of strategies targeted to addressing housing needs.

More detail on TREB’s recommendations, including the full policy briefs, are available at UnlockMyHousingOptions.com.

The individual responses on housing issues from the GTA candidates that TREB surveyed have been posted on UnlockMyHousingOptions.com

“TREB applauds candidates who put their names forward to be a part of the municipal election campaign, and we thank the over 200 candidates who took the time to respond to our survey. I invite you to visit UnlockMyHousingOptions.com to view how candidates responded and see how their responses compare to TREB’s position on issues of housing supply and choice. We look forward to working with those elected on October 22, 2018,” said Bhaura.

About the GTA Municipal Elections Poll

For this survey, a sample of 1,503 GTA residents from the Ipsos i-Say panel was interviewed from August 20 to 23, 2018. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects the overall population according to census information. The precision of online polls is measured using credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all adults in the GTA been polled. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population.

About the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)

The Toronto Real Estate Board is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1920 by a small group of real estate practitioners. Today, as Canada’s largest real estate board, TREB serves more than 50,000 licensed real estate Brokers and Salespersons in and about the Greater Toronto Area. TREB is the collective voice for both its commercial and residential REALTOR® Members and operates under the direction of an elected voluntary Board of 16 Directors.