Mississauga and Brampton affordable housing in ‘crisis,’ families need to save for decades to afford down payment

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Published October 21, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Peel Region wants Ottawa to revamp housing programs to cut down on years of saving required for an average family to afford a home in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon.

According to the Peel Region Housing Services, affordable housing in the Region is in ‘crisis.’

A presentation to the Government Relations Committee on Thursday said the average resale price for residential property in Peel is over $1 million, meaning the average family in Peel looking to enter the housing market would need to save for 26 years for a down payment.

Low-income families would need to save almost twice as long at 51 years in order to pay no more than 30 per cent of monthly income towards a mortgage, which is considered the affordable standard.

With the average price of a rental in the region topping $2,200 per month, a two-income minimum wage household would spend 66 per cent of their income on rent.

In August, Ottawa upped its commitment to help build 119 affordable housing in Peel through the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI).

But the Region says RHI project requirements are too restrictive and have resulted in over 100 potential housing projects being left on the drafting table.

Under the program, any form of new construction which is not modular will only be accepted if the units can be delivered in 12 months. All units must also be targeted towards vulnerable populations, and must be affordable in the long term.

The Region has asked the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to consider re-designing program requirements around timing, flexibility and funding.

In 2020, the region said there were just under 15,000 households on wait lists for housing subsidies, and 70 per cent of low-income households live in housing they cannot afford.

On top of calling for a revamp of the RHI to increase housing options, the region is still looking to fill a $319 million funding gap or risk losing out on some 860 affordable rental units under the Region’s Housing Master Plan.

If the Region fails to raise the funds by 2028, the CMHC will pull funding for five planned developments.

The Region of Peel has recommended the federal government to:

  • Provide long-term, allocation-based, sustainable capital and operational funding for the provision of affordable rental housing that provides flexibility in its use toward current housing stock and new rental development
  • Provide support to prevent the loss of affordable rental housing, including supportive housing, through state of good repair funding
  • Collaborate with the Region to improve the design and funding of programs, such as Reaching Home, Rapid Housing Initiative program, and related programs
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