Housing logjam on the table as Burlington mayor set to meet with Premier Ford

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Published August 14, 2023 at 11:16 am

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has a scheduled meeting this week with Ontario Premier Doug Ford to discuss the slow progress of home building in the city.

The meeting follows criticism directed by Ford at Burlington last week over the low number of housing starts in the city as it tries to meet its homebuilding quota as determined by Queen’s Park.

“Now I’m going to point out one city…and that city is Burlington,” said Ford. “They have been allocated 29,000 new homes…they have built 208.”

The West End West End Home Builders’ Association (WE HBA), a group that represents the residential construction industry, has also stated that Burlington won’t be able to reach the 29,000 target by 2031 based on the City’s approach in dealing with proposed high-density housing projects.

According to the mayor’s published agenda update, the meeting with Ford will take some time this week. It’s not clear if the meeting will be in person.

Meanwhile, Burlington has remained steadfast on the issue insisting the housing targets will be achieved. The City has also shifted some of the blame onto the development industry for not starting projects that have been approved.

Meed Ward has said that of the 29,0000 homes that have been allotted and committed to, 25,000 are currently being processed by the City.

She has consistently said that the City of Burlington is not in the business of building homes, rather it only has the ability to give approvals to developers.

The development industry has acknowledged that high interest rates, inflation, construction costs and a labour shortage have caused delays in building. However, WE HBA said the City of Burlington has a “reputation of slowing down the process” with many applications going before the Ontario Land Tribunal for a ruling.

 

 

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