On October 12, 2023, The Cornwall Construction Association hosted a panel discussion at Esca Gourmet Pizza + Bar, to discuss the housing crisis through the lens of the construction industry.
The newly formed Cornwall Construction Association invited a group of builders, contractors, city officials and those in the trades to engage with the panel on questions that were submitted prior concerning the housing crisis.
The panel made up of, South Stormont Mayor Bryan McGillis, SDSG MPP, Nolan Quinn, and Cornwall Mayor, Justin Towndale and was moderated by CCA’s Brad Robertson.
The panel began with a significant focus on what the government is doing to encourage enrolment of the trades, that will be needed to inevitably build 1.5 million homes (including rentals) by 2031 but admittedly “We are behind the ball” said Mayor Towndale.
In Cornwall and SDG&A not only is there a critical need for more housing, but a critical need for more affordable housing and how we do that- right now, was an answer no one seemed to have.
In addition not having adequate housing in our area significantly impacts the ability of local businesses to attract and retain talent. Which only further exacerbates the ongoing labour shortage. Moreover are governments and industry aligned on the definition of affordable housing?
This is what we do know, local governments will be given the green light to speed up the red tape. Development and approvals such as fixing out-of-date permitting systems, introducing zoning reforms to build more density.
Funding will be available to help municipalities streamline and modernize their planning approval processes. Greenbelt protection will remain strong while municipalities will gain more flexibility in their own growth and expansion.
While it was only the first of many conversations to come it seems there are more questions than answers due to political process.