New proposal could prevent conversion or demolition of rental properties in Brampton

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Published October 19, 2021 at 12:50 pm

City Council could be implementing additional protections for rental properties in Brampton.

During a Planning and Development Committee meeting, an Official Plan Amendment (OPA) to Housing Brampton, the City’s housing strategy, was brought forward that would provide greater protection to rental housing.

The OPA would prohibit the conversion of rental properties of six units or more unless the city’s average rental vacancy rate for the preceding three years is below three per cent.

Currently, the official plan policy encourages the maintenance of a minimum rental vacancy rate of two per cent.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) considers a three-per-cent vacancy rate to be a healthy market, while a vacancy rate below this indicates the demand for rental units outweighs the supply.

According to recent data, Brampton’s rental vacancy rate has only been at two per cent once in the last four years—in 2020, the rental vacancy rate was 2.4 per cent.

However, in 2019, the vacancy rate was 1.3 per cent, in 2018, it was 1.1 per cent, and in 2017, it was 1.3 per cent.

Additionally, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the rise in vacancies over the last year, and, which restrictions easing, it’s likely the 2.4 vacancy rate in 2020 will decline over the course of 2021.

Further, the OPA would prohibit the demolition of rental properties if it would adversely affect the city’s supply of rental housing unless replacement rental housing units are provided. Replacement units would be required to be comparable in size, type, and affordability.

Moreover, over the last two decades, very few new rental buildings have been built in Brampton, and between 2017 and 2019, 0 per cent of completed developments included for-purpose rental buildings.

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