‘It’s a ridiculous situation’: Housing costs are a concern for southwestern Ontario Pi News

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Shazelle Santana wants to move from her one bedroom apartment to a larger unit, but could not afford more space.

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A resident of London, Ont., Says his seven-year-old son is growing fast and the family needs more space, but rising rents in the city have made it incredibly difficult to move.

The 52-year-old photographer and artist says, “It’s stuck in an absurd situation.”

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“Actually, I need two bedrooms. In normal times, as it was years and years ago, I would have a three-bedroom and… extra room as a studio.

Santana moved into her building six years ago and is paying less than $ 800 a month in rent. He says a renovated one-bedroom apartment in his north London building is now being rented out for $ 2,000 a month.

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Rising real estate prices are also forcing you to eventually abandon your plan to buy your own home.

“I realized that if my goals and plans had been implemented, it would have been very possible,” he says. “Then over the last few years, I’ve been sitting here thinking it’s okay to do anything, and I think it’s impossible now because of the prices.”

As the provincial election approaches, residents of southwestern Ontario are facing one of the primary problems with housing, rent and property.

Click to play video: 'Sticker shock: Canada's home inflation marginalizes prospective buyers'

Sticker shock: Canada’s home inflation marginalizes prospective buyers

Sticker shock: Canada’s home inflation marginalizes prospective buyers

The major political parties, which have pledged to build 1.5 million new homes if all of the progressive conservatives, neo-Democrats and liberals are elected, are making promises of housing.

The Tory government enacted a new law shortly before the election campaign to speed up approvals and other building processes, but critics said there were no bold steps such as changing municipal zoning rules to allow single-family homes to be set aside and more homes built.

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The New Democrats promise to build 250,000 affordable rental homes run by public, nonprofit and cooperative housing providers. They also promise to reintroduce rent control and allow first-time buyers with a home income of less than $ 200,000 to access home equity loans of up to 10 percent of the purchase price.

The Liberals are working with municipalities to expand zoning options, reintroduce rent control, establish the Ontario Housing Corporation, finance and promise to build affordable housing.

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Greens say they will build 182,000 permanent affordable community housing rental homes, including 60,000 support homes over the next decade.

For Kathleen Brunner, finding affordable housing in London has become a real problem.

He says he tries to find a two-bedroom apartment for rent after getting a new job in town, but five recent trips dedicated to finding a new home have failed.

The 53-year-old woman, who currently lives with her partner in a rented house in Ont., Barry, says she is now considering moving to a motel or living with her 26-year-old daughter. He lost his new job as a security guard supervisor at a London hospital.

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“I have a job waiting for me, a job that pays well … and I have no place to go,” he says.

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“At one point they said $ 1,095 (a month)… Then I went to see it and the guy called me back to give me the address to go see me and he said ‘oh, this is $ 1,500’. ‘

Brunner says landlords and their agents have told him that rents have risen recently due to high demand from people moving to the city.

Before he retires, he says he believes he can save enough money to buy a mobile home one day because buying a property is no longer possible.

“I never thought I would get a real home,” he says. “Mobile homes, you can get them for under $ 200,000.”

Michael Hahn, an associate professor of sociology at Western University, said housing in London was relatively undervalued because of the city’s economy’s reliance on poorly performing output until recently.

He says that situation has changed.

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“People are coming to London with Toronto money and Montreal money, and we are starting to increase the number of newcomers we receive,” he says.

According to Hahn, London’s population grew by more than 10 per cent between 2016 and 2021, while housing grew by only 6.8 per cent.

“It creates a perfect storm,” he says.

Jared Jaifmann, chief executive of the London Home Builders’ Association, said supply in the city’s housing market could not keep up with population growth.

“In the last five years … population growth has more than doubled every year from housing,” he says. “We now have a kind of flu situation where there is that demand and the missing supply.”

Click to play video: 'Ontario 2022 elections could have national implications'

The Ontario 2022 elections could have national repercussions

The Ontario 2022 elections could have national repercussions

There are a number of issues that hinder developers ’ability to increase the distribution of new homes, including setbacks and delays in development-approval, zoning and subdivision processes.

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“This is an area where we know that this province has the capacity and the strength to make some legal changes …

Supply chain issues during the COVID-19 epidemic have affected the ability of homebuilders to deliver new homes, while the war in Ukraine has also affected the arrival of some construction materials from Europe.

The industry is concerned about a shortage of skilled workers, Zaifman says.

“We enjoy this as a business every day, trying to find enough competent businesses to be on the sites. Sometimes you just have to wait weeks to get the right team,” he says.

“Many pensions are going to come in the coming years. So now that we have certain challenges, I think there needs to be a lot of recognition of how quickly we can plan and change that future.

Ontario’s election is set for June 2.

© 2022 Canadian Press


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