One of the unheralded things GOHBA members do is think about the needs of future homeowners – those who’ll buy a home not only in the next year or two, but five, ten, twenty years down the road.
How to ensure that there will be a variety of homes to choose from, that they’ll be affordable, and that they will provide the range of lifestyles that the residents of Ottawa want.
They think about these things long-before it’s figured out what type of home will be built or where it’ll be located.
In the same vein, GOHBA members look at existing homes and neighbourhoods and think about what they may look like years in the future, and what those residents will need and want as their circumstances change.
At the end of last month, members of GOHBA went to Queens Park to talk to Ottawa-area MPPs about the need for more housing to address our population growth.
The provincial government expects Ontario to grow by 2.6 million people over the next 12 years. Industry expects that we’ll need to build roughly a million new homes by 2031 to accommodate them.
Currently we build around 75,000 homes a year across the province, and we’ll need bump that up to 100,000.
To extrapolate that for Ottawa, a good rule of thumb is 10% of provincial activity.
Ottawa built 7,500 homes in both 2017 and 2018. Now we need to look at getting to 10,000 homes a year.
There’s a lot to consider with that number. Not only where those homes will go and what kinds of homes they will be (singles, semis, townhomes, apartments, condos), but also the number of skilled tradespeople we’ll need to build them, their energy efficiency performance, and how to protect their affordability.
Not even to mention the infrastructure, transit and amenities that’ll be needed to support the people in those homes.
As well, there is a stock of over 400,000 existing homes in Ottawa that’s aging – in need of repairs, upgrades and modifications to allow us to stay in our homes as we get older, improve resiliency to climate change and extreme weather, and reduce our operating costs.
As well, existing homes have the potential to be a significant source of new affordable housing through additions or modifications to create accessory suites, multi-family units or shared accommodations, which are increasingly popular as people look for alternative ways to find a place that they can call home.
It’s a tall order. But GOHBA members think about these things every day.
And we work with the City, community associations and other stakeholders to ensure that the citizens of Ottawa get the housing they want and deserve.
Jason Burggraaf, Executive Director
Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association