TORONTO — A study released Sept. 22 by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) concludes that municipal processes and approval delays add tens of thousands of dollars in costs to new homes in the GTA.
The study, compiled by Altus Group, examined 18 towns and cities across the GTA and found significant variation in planning features, municipal fees and charges and approval times.
Altus Group found that average municipal approval times for single applications across the GTA stretched well in excess of the maximum allowable times under provincial legislation, stated a release. In the case of one municipality the approval time for an application stretched 29 months longer than the maximum legislated approval timeframe.
On top of delay costs, the report also examined added municipal costs to new housing and discovered that on average, across the GTA, costs such as development charges and planning fees added $93,700 to a typical low-rise home and $57,800 to a typical highrise apartment. When combined with taxes from other levels of government, including HST, the combined burden of government fees, taxes and charges accounts for almost 25 per cent of the cost of a new home in the region.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for municipalities to help with housing affordability by looking at the efficiencies of their processes and approval times,” said Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD, in the statement. “Added indirect costs because of long approval times can add between $58,000 and $87,000 to a typical 2,000-square-foot single-family home in the GTA. For highrise apartments, the added cost can be between $44,000 and $66,000.”
The BILD study is being released in concert with a similar national benchmarking study conducted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association that examines 23 different municipalities across the country including six GTA municipalities that overlap with the BILD report. The CHBA study was to be released Sept. 22.