A new study commissioned by the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) says that rental housing supply will continue to diminish and vacancy rates will drop further unless at least 6,250 additional new rental units are built each year for the next decade, in addition to the expected level of new development.
The FRPO says that before the introduction of Bill 124 earlier this year, which will impose rent controls on units that were previously exempt, proposed rental projects were at a 25-year high with 28,000 units in the planning pipeline. Since then, at least 1,000 planned rental units have already been cancelled or converted to condos, says the association.
It says vacancy rates in the province have already fallen to “critical levels” of 2.1 per cent across the province and 1.3 per cent in the City of Toronto.
“Ontario’s scarce rental housing supply combined with escalating house and condo prices have created a housing crisis in our biggest cities,” says Jim Murphy, president of FRPO. “The only solution is for Ontario to build itself out of this situation. This begins with our provincial leaders working with industry to identify and implement policies that create more purpose-built rental units, not less.”
The association is encouraging Ontarians to ask the provincial government to take measures to allow for more housing choices for renters by introducing amendments to Bill 124. The association has launched a public engagement campaign “designed to educate Ontarians about the economics of rental supply in the province, its impact on the real estate market and how more units can help. The end goal is to put pressure on decision makers to ensure there are adequate rental housing options,” it says. More information is online at www.rent-on.ca.
“This study truly underscores the urgency of Ontario’s current rental housing supply situation,” says Murphy. “If our government leaders fail to act now to address this crisis in a meaningful and sustainable way, the results will serve to further impact Ontario’s economy, such as through additional strain on our cities’ transit infrastructure as people are forced to commute further and further to find more affordable housing options.”