The Building Industry and Land Development Association and the Toronto Real Estate Board released their second joint Ipsos polls results highlighting voters’ concerns and priorities regarding the upcoming municipal election.
The first poll found that Greater Toronto Area residents consider the high cost of housing a top issue for the election. The second poll discovered that GTA residents believe building new homes is an important method to address housing affordability…but just not near their own homes.
That’s right – it comes to no surprise that greed and selfishness has contributed to the high cost of housing. 87% of respondents believe building new homes is important to address housing affordability, but 59% oppose the construction of a high-rise condo within half a kilometre of their own home.
This is called NIMBYism, which stands for “not in my backyard.”
Even when it comes to low-rise and mid-density housing, a significant chunk of GTA residents oppose new construction. 44% oppose stacked townhomes being built within half a kilometre of their own home, while 49% oppose small condos.
Even single-family detached homes are a no-no for 30% of GTA residents. It doesn’t really make any sense. How can people say, ‘yes, building new homes is definitely important to address housing affordability, just not near me.’
“If we want to truly address housing issues in the GTA, we need to take a comprehensive approach and that means being open to innovative ideas and change,” says John DiMichele, TREB Chief Executive Officer. “Outdated zoning rules and other obstacles need to be reconsidered. The same policies will get us the same results, and that’s just not good enough any more.”
Nearly 90% of respondents say that municipal zoning by-laws should be reviewed and changes considered in order to accommodate the creation of middle density housing.
“This week’s results show that building more new homes is seen, overwhelmingly, as a critical part of the solution to housing affordability. However, overcoming resistance to change and ‘not in my backyard’ sentiment in existing neighbourhoods is a huge barrier that municipal leaders can help overcome by taking a leadership role,” says TREB President Garry Bhaura.
This isn’t just a matter of voting for the person who is pro-development. The NIMBYism mindset needs to change. The GTA is growing and it’s a desirable location for people of all ages. The population is expected to hit nearly 10 million by 2041.
A councillor will represent their constituents, and if their constituents are against development in their neighbourhood, then the councillor will fight any new development that crosses their desk.
“In order to build a livable GTA for the future, we need to be able to build more homes, faster. Clearly we need to have a broader discussion on how to accommodate growth, particularly in established neighbourhoods. I encourage citizens and municipal candidates to learn more about this at www.buildforgrowth.ca,” says Dave Wilkes, President and CEO, BILD.