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Using existing housing to deal with housing crisis

Using existing housing to deal with housing crisis

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario has issued a news release recommending making better use of existing housing stock as one solution to meet the housing crisis.

In a release ACO notes:

“One eighth of Ontario’s housing predates WWII, and ACO – and its membership – are fluent in its potential:

•             The easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to create new housing is to capitalize on existing structures, by inserting new “secondary suites” into, for example, basements and attics

•             In most cases it is significantly faster and cheaper to fix existing dwellings than to demolish them and start over.

•             This is a job engine. Already, 58% of residential construction jobs are in renovation, compared to 42% in new construction.

Retaining Ontario’s hundreds of thousands of older buildings and investing in their repair and reuse offers an opportunity to balance keeping the old while building new. Sound local planning and decision-making are the first steps to meet the challenge of creating affordable housing choices while retaining the inherent sustainability and economic, environmental, and cultural value of our existing buildings.”

ACO is urging voters to discuss this option with candidates for municipal office before the October election.

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