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Over a quarter of Waterloo Region residents considering moving to more affordable location: WRAR

A new home is displayed for sale in a new housing development in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick A new home is displayed for sale in a new housing development in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Many Waterloo Region residents are considering moving to a more affordable location, according to a new poll conducted by Waterloo Region Association of Realtors (WRAR).

The poll found that 28 per cent of residents are considering moving with 38 per cent saying they live in housing that is unaffordable.

Almost four in 10 Waterloo residents are spending more than 30 per cent of their total income on housing, according to WRAR.

The association said the high cost of housing is driven by the lack of affordable housing supply in Waterloo Region.

“The problem is particularly bad among millennials and young people,” said Megan Bell, president of WRAR.

According to the poll, millennials were the most likely age group to be spending over 30 per cent of their household income on housing.

Bell said the solution needs to come fast – as the tech market continues to grow locally.

“If we don’t get to work building more homes, Waterloo will struggle to compete against other technology hubs in attracting top-tier talent. Building more affordable homes is not just about meeting the needs of growing families or downsizing seniors, it’s also about the long-term economic success of local communities,” Bell said.

The association said more than half of the new homes being built in the region are apartments but the poll shows residents strongly prefer more spacious single-detached homes.

“There is a strong disconnect right now in Waterloo between what home buyers are looking for and the new supply coming to the market,” said Bell. “Waterloo has to do a better job of encouraging the building of a greater array of affordable housing options.”

More than 60 per cent of those surveyed support the building of what they call ‘middle housing’ in Waterloo Region – housing that can provide most of the features of single-detached housing, if well designed.

“Growth does not have to be a debate between building single-detached homes and high-rise apartments. Elected officials must turn their attention to policies that will make it easier to build semi-detached, row, duplex, triplex and fourplex style housing,” said Bell.


WRAR suggested several things that they think the Waterloo Regional Council and local councils should consider. The association suggests rolling back “exclusionary zoning” – to allow for different styles of homes like row, duplex, triplex and fourplex style housing.

They also suggest reducing parking minimums to make more space for more homes. Top Stories

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