Toronto home builders warn of a housing project delays due to COVID-19

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The home building industry is warning that COVID-19-related construction delays will make Toronto housing shortage worse by stalling up to 9 000 housing starts and the occupation of another 8,000 in the next 18 months.

A third of accommodation projects are in arrears of six months or more, according to one of the Building Industry and Land development Association (BILD) at the mid-May survey of its members to be released on Monday.

The results highlight the recommendations of the BILD report released two weeks ago to recommend billions of dollars in stimulus spending, tax cuts and delays, changes to mortgage lending rules and the approval and planning efficiencies needed to help accelerate the economic recovery of Ontario through the construction.

“Now more than ever, all levels of government must work together to ensure that adequate measures are in place to remove barriers which will unlock for consumers and for the industry, construction investments to help revive the economy,” said BILD chief executive David Wilkes in the survey presss release.

The survey covered 276 active construction projects in the City of Toronto, between 498 active construction sites in the construction area of 156, 000 households.

It revealed that 65% of the City of Toronto social housing were delayed between three and six months, even if the construction was allowed to continue to be a critical business for the provinces of the pandemic in the lock.

Eighty-three percent of the construction projects that were still in the beginning of excavation of the stage at Ontario declared an emergency situation in March are in delay of three to six months. Eleven percent of these projects are facing delays of more than six months.

Eighty-five percent of the projects that were above the grade of the construction phase are three-to six-month delay. While 10 percent have no delays or minor holdups and five percent expect to be six months or more behind schedule.

BILD has said that the results were similar in other parts of the greater toronto area.

Since the Ontario government has declared a state of emergency, on 17 March, the manufacturers were allowed to continue to work on the homes near completion, and on critical infrastructure projects, such as hospitals, on condition that they maintain safe work sites.

But disruptions to the supply chain and other delays have hampered the progress of the construction, said Wilkes.

“The workplace had to adjust appropriately to COVID-19 protocols for social distancing rules impacted negatively on the productivity and some municipalities have had to adapt to working remotely. This slowed down the processing of planning and building applications and stalled developments and construction projects,” he said.

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Reduced construction activity in the multi-family house category in the City of Toronto could cost 10,000 jobs per year and $ 850 million in lost development charges, the HST, property and land transfer taxes, said an analysis of the survey conducted by the Altus Group, the company in charge of the follow-up of the new home construction industry.

“Under normal circumstances, we would expect multi-family starts of some 17 600 units this year and 19, 000 units of side. Because of these delays being experienced among the pre-construction projects, the departures will be a maximum of 10,050 units this year and 17,470 next,” said the Altus analysis.



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