By: Michael Eisner
Five outside-the-box housing ideas that Toronto should try, according to report
Tags: Real Estate Ideas, Cost, Toronto
Toronto needs to think outside the box — or the condo tower — when it comes to solving its housing challenges. Put another way: “It’s time to hack the condo model,” says the executive director of the Ryerson City Building Institute.
Its latest report surveys ideas that are creating more middle- and lower-income housing in other cities and at home — notions, Cherise Burda says, that bear further exploration.
“I’m tired of the same old conversations about supply, supply, supply,” she said. “It’s time to start thinking creatively. If you just keep doing things the same way, you’re just going to end up with the same housing.”
Architect and developer Heather Tremain agrees the housing industry needs to step up its game. She is CEO of Options for Homes, a social enterprise that builds what it calls “below-market ownership housing.”
“For us, one of the challenges is we work in a market context. Everything is more expensive — exponential increases of land values. Last year construction prices rose 12 per cent. All of those things make it really hard to deliver something affordable in this market,” she said.
It’s the reality in the gentrifying city.
“To some extent we are becoming more of a luxury market,” said Tremain.
Changes in the way people are living and creating families provides an opportunity for the real estate market, she said.
Here are five ideas that could help Toronto confront its housing affordability challenge, according to the City Building Institute’s “Rethinking the Tower” report.