Oshawa, Pickering and Durham need 90,000 new homes built in next decade – report


Published August 15, 2022 at 11:10 am

Ontario needs to build 1.5 million homes in the next ten years to meet growing demand, with 90,000 of those homes required in Durham Region, according to the findings of Smart Prosperity Institute’s latest housing report, aptly named Ontario’s Need for 1.5 Million More Homes.

The bulk of those homes in Durham are expected to be built in Oshawa and Pickering.

During the 2022 election campaign, all four major provincial parties committed to the goal of building 1.5 million new homes over the next decade, including the re-elected Progressive Conservative government.

“Ontario is in a housing crisis, with skyrocketing rents and interest rates on the rise,” said Dr. Mike Moffatt, Senior Director of Policy at Smart Prosperity Institute and lead author of the report. “Both the federal and provincial governments believe that we need to build at least 1.5 million homes over the next decade to ensure there is an attainable home for every family. Our findings suggest that goal is the right one.”

Released today, the Ontario’s Need for 1.5 Million More Homes report answers two questions:

  1. Is 1.5 million new homes a reasonable forecast of Ontario’s housing needs over the next decade?
  2. How will the demand for 1.5 million new homes be distributed across the province?

The answer to the first question is an unequivocal ‘yes,” said Moffatt. The report finds that 1.51 million net new homes need to be built in Ontario for the province to reach the average housing supply levels in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario and British Columbia), adjusted for both population size and age. Moffatt and his colleagues find that Ontario had a pre-existing shortage of 471,500 homes in 2021 – including nearly 40,000 in Durham – and will need an additional 1,034,900 homes to keep up with projected 2021-31 population growth, for a combined total of 1,506,400 net new homes needed over the next ten years.

The report finds that 48 per cent of the demand for these homes is coming from Peel Region (277,000), City of Toronto (259,000), and York Region (180,000), with Halton and Durham regions right behind.

Without a serious plan to address housing shortages in the GTA, the report declares, a growing number of families will ‘drive until they qualify’ to other communities in Ontario to find attainable housing that meets their needs.  Young Ontarians being forced to move far from where they work will increase commutes, contribute to the loss of forests and farmland, and make it all but impossible for the province to meet its climate goals.

Ontario’s population is growing rapidly, and Durham Region is no exception, Moffatt said. Of the 1.5 million new homes needed in the next decade, 89,900 of them will be needed in Durham.

“Durham Region is not immune to the housing shortages plaguing Ontario”, he noted. “Local leadership and a substantial plan will be required for Durham to build the needed 89,900 homes between now and 2031.”

Moffatt said the provincial government will also need to play an important role. “A housing target is not a housing plan. While the 1.5 million housing target is a useful benchmark, it is not a comprehensive plan. The province will need to address the bottlenecks to building more housing, including ensuring enough skilled tradespeople. And we must ensure we are building these homes in a manner which is compatible with our climate goals.”

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