Burlington confident it can build 29,000 new homes by 2031

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Published March 6, 2023 at 2:57 pm

affordable housing Burlington Keesmat

The City of Burlington believes it will be able to build all the housing units demanded by Queen’s Park because the goal appears to be within reach.

To meet that goal, however, everything will have to go as planned.

As part of Ontario’s demand that more homes be built in Southern Ontario, Premier Doug Ford’s government has set Burlington’s goal at 29,000 new units by 2031.

City officials are confident that amount can be achieved because of the number of development projects that are already in the works.

“We know that we can achieve that number because currently because we have over 21,000 units being processed and under review right now,” Mayor Marianne Meed Ward told Khaled Iwamura inhalton.com. “There’s huge interest in Burlington (by developers) and we know we can accommodate the growth around our GO Stations and other growth nodes. We believe we can meet that number and we are more than willing to do our share to address housing needs in Ontario.”

But to do so, Burlington will need some help from the Province, developers and a workforce that is up to the challenge.

Meed Ward said to get the job done the Province should back away from a plan that would abolish the ability of municipalities to collect fees from developers for new construction. Cities and towns have traditionally relied on development fees to fill municipal coffers to help offset the cost of infrastructure needs such as roads, water, transit and emergency services that the new projects will create.

As well, Burlington planning department staff say that developers will also have to step up with plans for more projects.

“We don’t build houses, we only approve applications.” a planning staff member pointed out at a recent committee meeting. “We need them to come forward with their plans and we can’t force them to do that.”

Other factors that could get in the way of increasing the housing stock are dealings with other levels of government and red tape, as well as the availability of a workforce to build homes.

Burlington planning staff say they are optimistic that cooperation with all levels of government including Halton Region and the Ontario government will lead to meeting the goal with the expectation that penalties will not be imposed if the number is not met due to influences beyond the City’s control.

 

 

 

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