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Housing supply ideas from Desjardins
"A How-To for Boosting Home Construction"
Global Housing Supply Success Stories: A How-To for Boosting Home Construction in Canada. Jimmy Jean, Randall Bartlett, and Kari Norman. August 2023.
Desjardins published a short paper (10 pages) with some ideas for boosting housing supply a few days ago. There’s a fair amount of overlap with the National Housing Accord, e.g. on federal tax incentives to encourage a lot more rental housing. A couple ideas that I thought were particularly interesting:
Converting office space to housing for students or seniors. It’s difficult to convert high-rise office buildings, where bathrooms are usually centrally located, to apartments. “Empty office buildings may be better suited to more congregate living spaces such as student or senior housing, as kitchens, bathrooms and other facilities can be centrally located.”
Redeveloping shopping malls for housing (as is happening at Oakridge and Brentwood). “There are currently a number of older shopping malls proposed for this type of redevelopment in the Greater Toronto Area. Retail‐to-residential conversions have gained significant momentum in the US as well. This is a step in the right direction, as lands around existing shopping malls are generally underutilized while these retail spaces are typically on public transit routes and provide access to goods and services. Retail‐to-residential redevelopment of existing greyfield sites also provides an opportunity for large‐scale investment by institutional investors, such as Canadian pension funds.”
A summary table: