Think tank: Region needs 30,000 new homes for population growth

Smart Prosperity Institute study pinpoints number of homes needed by 2031 in Guelph and Wellington County

Nearly 30,000 new homes are needed in Guelph and Wellington County by 2031 to meet provincially mandated population growth. Province-wide, 1.5 million new homes are needed.

That’s one of the findings of a report by the Smart Prosperity Institute, a national research network and policy think tank based at the University of Ottawa.

“Ontario is in the midst of a housing crisis, with skyrocketing rents and rising interest rates. Federal and provincial governments believe we need to build at least 1.5 million homes over the next decade to ensure there is an accessible home for every family. Our findings suggest the goal is the right one,” said Mike Moffatt, senior policy director at the Institute for Smart Prosperity and lead author of the report, in a press release.

“Guelph is not immune to Ontario’s housing shortages,” he added. “Local leadership and a substantial plan will be needed for Guelph and Wellington County to build the 29,600 homes needed by 2031.”

According to the 2021 census, the population of Guelph is approximately 145,000, with 97,000 more in Wellington County. The city’s population is expected to reach 177,000 by 2031, while the county’s reaches 122,000.

To accommodate these additional residents, the Smart Prosperity Institute estimates that 29,600 new homes are needed locally.

In its report, the institute notes that Ontario had a housing shortage of 471,500 in 2021, with more than a million more needed to keep pace with growth targets, which would result in a need for more than 1 .5 million total new homes by 2031.

Almost half of this amount is planned for Toronto, as well as for the regions of York and Peel.

Without a “serious plan” to address the housing shortage in these areas, more people will go further to find housing that meets their needs, leading to additional travel times while contributing to a loss of forests. and agricultural land, the report says, making it “almost impossible” for the province to meet its stated climate goals.

“A housing target is not a housing plan. While the 1.5 million housing target is a useful benchmark, it is not a comprehensive plan,” Moffat said in the statement. enough skilled trades people.

“And we have to make sure we’re building those homes in a way that’s compatible with our climate goals.”