We’ve all heard stories of people struggling to find affordable and adequate housing. Just last month a survey from rental site Padmapper highlighted how rents jumped by double digits over the past year in 17 of 24 Canadian cities. In 2010, architect Daniel Parolek coined the term “The Missing Middle” to describe a range of housing types between single-detached houses and apartment buildings that have been in short supply in many of our cities over the past 60 to 70 years.
In this feature blog, The Missing Middle, we review a recent report from The Canadian Urban Institute that explains what the Missing Middle is, how the public, private and non-profit sectors have to work together to address our shared housing challenges and bring this type of housing back to life. It also paves the way for an important discussion on how we can play a part in providing long-term solutions.
To fulfill their commitment of providing a full range of housing types*, both ownership and rentals, cities will need to address the issue of the missing middle and they’re counting on the support of many partners.
Close to one third of families who rent in Toronto are experiencing overcrowding pressures; vacancy rates have fallen in the purpose-built and condo rental markets; sudden price hikes in rental properties are destabilizing families and the cost of homes has overwhelmingly surpassed growth in incomes. These realities are pushing young people to stay at home longer, seniors to hold on to homes that have not kept up with their evolving needs and pushed middle-income earners – growing families and other members of the workforce – out of the city.
So where do we look for solutions?
The government cannot solve this problem alone. The public, private and non-profit sectors are all starting to work together to create better housing conditions and overcome the challenges. It’s really just begun.
A solution would be to open up areas to gentle densify through missing middle housing, greater investments in private rental housing, new zoning areas and reduced development costs for other housing types.
One part of the equation is equipment costs, budget management and bundling of essential services. With mechanical equipment rentals like furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and water treatment, homeowners can budget expenses with predictable monthly payments that cover maintenance and emergency repairs.
Mechanical equipment rental, with one monthly bill that covers maintenance, service and repairs including parts and labour and no cost for replacement when needed, provides homeowners affordability, stability and peace of mind.
For builders, the Reliance Builder Program feature solutions that include energy efficient water heating and HVAC equipment plus allowances that help reduce building costs — allowing you to focus on other important areas of your build project.
Paying greater attention to the missing middle, in Toronto and other growing cities, is an important part of our common goals for sustainable and livable cities – and our plans in 2019.
To consult the full report, visit URL. https://www.evergreen.ca/downloads/pdfs/2018/What_is_the_Missing_Middle_Evergreen_CUI_s2.pdf