The Greenbelt and Growth Plans are meant to ensure long-term costs don’t place an unmanageable burden on our children. They do this by identifying and protecting valuable assets, such as water, farmland, and important ecosystems, which provide long-term value, and by directing growth to areas where infrastructure is more efficiently delivered and maintained. Together, these plans lay a prudent foundation for Ontario’s future health and prosperity.
The Greenbelt has been raised a number of time this election campaign. Most newsworthy, perhaps, was the video of Progressive Conservative leader, Doug Ford, promising developers that he would open up the Greenbelt, indicating this would be his approach to addressing housing affordability.
It has been touched on a number of other times as well, often in relation to the increased cost of living.
This has been directly, again with the land restriction/housing affordability connection. (There’s even been an astroturf campaign by developers promoting increased supply as the solution. Are you a #homebeliever?)
We’ve seen it referenced, also, indirectly, with arguments that regulation adds an unnecessary financial burden on home buyers, and with a study claiming that millennials pine for the suburban lifestyle of their parents. The subtext of this later one is, of course, the pent-up desire for continued sprawl-style development.
The rough alignment of these messages, which isn’t surprising given those putting them forward, point toward a market oriented solution.
Developers, untethered from burdensome regulation, will provide quality housing at optimal cost, and only in the amount necessary to meet demand, presumably coming from millenials.
For the market to effectively address these concerns, it should be pointed out, accurate information is required, and conversations to date regarding how we value the environment, as well as many other things in life, have been woefully inadequate.
Fortunately, the issue of housing affordability presents a perfect opportunity to consider this question.Read more