Home construction ‘on track’ in Hamilton, Province says

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Published January 2, 2024 at 4:39 pm

77 James St. N Hamilton

Newly released findings from the Ontario government indicate Hamilton is “on track” to meet its housing goal commitment.

To alleviate the years-long housing affordability crisis, the Ontario Government committed to building 1.5 million homes by 2031. Some of the government’s actions on the file were found to be corrupt, such as removing Greenbelt lands and forcing urban boundary expansion.

While some of these plans have since been reversed, this 1.5 million home target has remained in place. Municipalities across the province are required to meet their share of housing construction toward this goal in order to receive funding from the province.

To ensure the municipalities are meeting this goal, Ontario tracks their progress through monthly data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. This uses “housing starts” to measure progress, essentially how many homes have officially started construction.

Many municipalities argue instead they should be measured by the number of building permits they approved to illustrate how many homes are truly on the way. However, there is often a delay from the project approval to the beginning of construction.

Of the 50 municipalities with set targets, the Province says 33 (66 per cent) have not met their targets. This includes large cities like Brampton and Mississauga and Hamilton’s neighbours like Burlington and Niagara Falls.

The per cent age of the goals reached vary wildly among municipalities who have not met their commitment. The worst is New Tecumseth, a small community about an hour and a half north of Hamilton, which reached only seven per cent of its target. Halton Hills and Burlington also ranked low with eight and 12 per cent respectively. The community with the highest rate that still missed the “on track” designation is Milton which hit 75 per cent of its goal.

Only six of the 50 communities (12 per cent) are considered to be on track including;

  • Hamilton (80 per cent)
  • Barrie (84 per cent)
  • Guelph (84 per cent)
  • Kawartha Lakes (84 per cent)
  • Georgina (87 per cent), and
  • Greater Sudbury (91 per cent)

In Hamilton, the province expected 3,447 home to begin construction in 2023. The city managed 2,760. In total they’ve started 6,112 units since 2022 toward the city’s 2031 goal of 47,000 homes. Across all municipalities this is the seventh highest goal. 

Another 11 communities have exceeded their 2023 goal;

  • Belleville
  • Thunder Bay
  • Sarnia
  • Pickering
  • Toronto
  • Innisfil
  • Whitchurch-Stouffville
  • Kingston
  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Welland
  • Chatham-Kent

This ranges from Belleville 118 per cent to Chatham-Kent’s 433 percent. The latter is a clear winner as the next runner up, Welland, hit 211 per cent. Toronto, which as by far the highest 2031 goal at 285,000 units, exceeded thier 2023 target be 142 per cent.

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