We’ve all heard of trickle-down economics, despite data proving that this theory is quite faulty, many people (in positions of power) still believe it as a means to help middle, working, and lower-income communities.
YIMBY housing groups support supply-side economics without deep consideration for on-the-ground urban planning issues that affect neighbourhoods. The belief goes like this — build more housing (usually high-rise condominiums), saturate the market, and demand reduces, therefore rents and housing prices will lower — current and future community planning is an afterthought.
The harsh, cold reality is that building more doesn’t doesn’t necessarily reduce costs. The housing market doesn’t function like widgets. Housing isn’t considered a disposable commodity for 90% of the population. In a past blog post, SJTG discussed that income has NOT kept pace with the cost of living. Income and employment stability are intricately tied to housing affordability.
Trickle-down housing is very flawed. Like trickle-down economics giving tax cuts to REITs, deregulating land use zoning to fast track project approvals without proper community input, rewards major developers at the expense of proper urban planning and due diligence — similar to how tax cuts made the rich richer, corporate landlords and major developers will generate billions in revenue by charging sky-high rents for market-rate apartments, making massive profits off the backs of the middle and working class.
The Ford government’s Bill 23 has given developers permission to build irresponsible, unaffordable, and predominantly condominiums so long as developers request a zoning amendment from the city. New condominium builds are pushing square footage down and prices up. It’s been clear that the majority of condo buyers are NOT residents but investors. When a new building launches, investors are buying the cheaper and smaller units.
The South Junction Triangle is perfect for missing middle housing, yet proposals being approved are unaffordable high-rise condominiums. Missing middle housing options bring diverse, affordable housing options and gentle density to areas like the South JT. Small business owners who rent in current warehouse spaces or older low-rises are also in precarious situations of displacement if their current building owners decide to sell to a REIT.
The belief in a trickle-down housing agenda results in developers tearing down affordable housing (think of the houses on Bloor Street between Perth and Sterling and our artists' lofts) to build luxury condominiums. Thereby reducing affordable housing stock and triggering an eviction crisis.