Increased focus on purpose-built rentals needed

The 2023 Affordable Housing Survey conducted by Habitat for Humanity Canada has highlighted that housing affordability remains a dominant concern for Canadians, alongside inflation and healthcare access.

TORONTO – Business – The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) have released a report warning that the deficit of rental housing supply in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is set to double in the next 10 years, reaching a total of 177,000 units.

To meet this rapidly growing demand, BILD and FRPO are urging all levels of government to implement policies that will stimulate the development of purpose-built rental (PBR) housing.

“We are seeing a drop off in the amount of purpose-built rentals being built despite the surge that occurred in 2018,” said Dave Wilkes, President and CEO of BILD. “These units are a vital part of the GTA and Ontario’s housing market, as they provide stable rental opportunities for those in need. Unfortunately, the economics of building and managing these types of buildings are not conducive to the scale of construction needed to meet the current deficit.”

In the GTA, purpose-built rental units account for approximately 13% of the overall housing stock and just under half of all rental units available. Unfortunately, the current stock of PBR housing is aging, with 90% of it dating back to before 1980. Between 2000 and 2022, only 23,590 PBR units were built, a far cry from the 223,954 units that were constructed in the preceding two decades. The rate of PBR construction did increase during 2018, but that surge appears to be short-lived.

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