Premier Doug Ford slams Burlington for poor performance on building homes

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Published August 9, 2023 at 3:23 pm

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Burlington is not pulling its weight when it comes to meeting the demand for housing, according to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

Speaking in response to a critical Auditor General’s report that focussed on development and the greenbelt, Ford called out Burlington for its slow rate of housing starts.

“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.”

Ford said Burlington is so far failing to live up to its pledge to build 29,000 homes by 2031 while other cities are picking up the slack.

The 208 homes that Ford refers to come from recent data provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) that shows Burlington has the fewest housing starts among those municipalities that have pledged to build more.

According to the CHMC the 208 housing starts are from the past year and a half and is five per cent of what is needed annually to meet the 29,000 commitment.

“There is no one (municipalities) that come close to that,” continued Ford. “It’s not fair to the rest of the province that there is a delay in Burlington of only five per cent. That is totally unacceptable.”

The Premier’s comments were directed at the City of Burlington which has consistently deflected criticism on the housing issue saying that it’s the development industry that has been slow on the uptake.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has said that of the 29,0000 homes that have been committed to, 25,000 are currently being processed. The mayor has said despite building approvals, developers are choosing not to build for several reasons including high interest rates, inflation, and not enough workers, among other reasons.

Meed Ward 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.

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