On October 2, a joint statement was issued by Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy and Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs, after the second meeting of the Housing Forum. The statement addressed the need for ‘missing middle’ housing typologies, as well as the broader need to deliver greater supply of affordable housing in Toronto:
“We created the Housing Forum — a group of economists, builders, academics, planners, municipal representatives and other professionals in the real estate sector — to get a range of perspectives and ideas on the state of Ontario’s housing market and assess the progress of the Fair Housing Plan.
Today’s discussion focused on the ‘missing middle’ in the Ontario housing market — medium density housing, including 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. 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.
Missing middle housing typologies, image by Opticos Design
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 we will be reviewing other provincially owned sites to see whether there are opportunities to expand the program. We recently launched the Housing Delivery Group that 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. We have also established a Development Approval Roundtable that includes senior provincial, municipal and industry representatives. Together they are finding ways to cut red tape and bring housing to market faster.
By working together, we can make sure that everyone in Ontario can continue to put down roots in the communities they love.”