Already testing affordability limits, higher new home prices could be among the unintended consequences of the provincial government's announcement on May 10 that it is proposing changes to four provincial plans that shape how land is used in the Greater Golden Horseshoe -- Canada's fastest-growing urban region, the province's economic engine and the home of the Greenbelt.
Although city planning is well-intentioned it can add costs and complications to residential development. These complications often culminate in months, or even years, of waiting for city hall's approval -- if these delays cause the supply of new homes to lag behind demand, new housing may become scarce, driving prices higher across the region by creating a perpetual seller's market.
The lack of affordable housing in Toronto drives demand for suburban housing and this threatens the implementation of the Growth Plan. To prevent social and environmental collapse, we need to link sprawl-related environmental issues with affordability.