5 Steps to Rethink Eastern Ontario’s Housing Challenge For Essential Workers – St. Lawrence Corridor Commission by Charlie Mignault

May 3, 2023

Across Eastern Ontario we are dealing with a housing challenge. Affordability continues to remain an issue for young families and essential workers as prices in the region remain stubbornly high. Moreover, the housing supply remains at an all-time low. These issues are complicated by an aging population living in an aging housing stock that requires renovations and upgrades – all contributing to rising costs. This picture is made more complex with recent studies that suggest approximately 14% of adult children are still living at home.

Regional manufacturers have over 600 open jobs. These jobs – unfilled – effect productivity, exports, future expansion and investment. Real opportunity exists to solve the problem. There is an intraprovincial migration movement of people in their 30s from the GTA, Peel and Ottawa to Eastern Ontario. These people need housing and we desperately need essential workers.

Much can be done regionally. Our local governments are working towards solutions. How can we support the development of purpose build housing? We need progressive policies that induce housing development. Zoning and land use regulations that will impact both availability and affordability. Policies and platforms that support the development of affordable housing or the even distribution of housing options across the region. Here are 5 ways we can improve residential housing development that will improve the environment and induce new development and future prosperity of Eastern Ontario.