Canadian Contractor

Daniel Reale-Chin   

Local development processes affecting housing affordability

Canadian Contractor Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) home construction housing affordability

CHBA 2022 Municipal Benchmarking Report outlines how municipal processes, fees and charges are impacting housing affordability and supply in Canada.

Edmonton, Charlottetown, Calgary and London were head of the class in a recently released Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) study looking at how municipal governments impact housing affordability.

The 2022 Municipal Benchmarking Study surveyed, which was prepared by Altus Group Economic Consulting, ranked municipalities based on several factors that impact housing markets. The study compared the approaches of 21 municipalities throughout the country, looking at local development processes, approvals and charges, and how they affect housing affordability and supply.

“This report is intended to support the important conversation with all levels of government, but particularly with municipal governments, on the efficient delivery of much needed new housing supply, including the impact that inefficiencies and taxes have on housing affordability, which is already a major challenge across the country,” said Kevin Lee, CHBA CEO. “We’ve undertaken this work to showcase where municipal governments have the policies and systems in place to support supply and affordability, and to provide a path forward for improvements where things aren’t working as well.”

All 10 municipalities from the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Metro Vancouver areas — a list that includes Markham, Bradford West Gwillimbury and Pickering in Ontario; and Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver in British Columbia — ranked near the bottom of the list.


The study showed stark differences in the approval timelines of municipalities, which ranged from three months in Charlottetown to 32 months in Toronto. Compared to the CHBA’s 2020 study, municipalities in Ontario generally saw timelines worsen, while municipalities outside of Ontario showed improvement.

The study also found that the average cost of municipal government charges on low-rise new housing developments was nearly $62,000 per unit. Toronto came in on the high-end, with government charges reaching over $189,000 per low-rise unit. For high-rise new housing, the average charge, nationally, was over $41,000 per unit, with Vancouver at the high-end at over $125,000 in government charges per unit.

The full report is available on the CHBA website.


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