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Waterloo region developers collaborate to improve work with government and build more homes

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Over a dozen developers across the Waterloo region have collaborated to advocate for policies and initiatives to facilitate new home construction across the region.

The new Build Urban group represents a collective voice championing efficient land use, responsible growth and streamlined approval processes. It will work closely with municipal governments and stakeholders in the hope of overcoming barriers to construction and expediting the creation of new homes across the region.

So far, this has included key policy issues, including inclusionary zoning and planning frameworks around major transit station areas, with key insights, expertise and practical solutions to affordable housing, intensification and land use planning in the consultation process.

”We are in a housing crisis and collaboration between local governments, the development industry and other stakeholders is necessary to accelerate the construction of new homes,” says Melissa Durrell, CEO of Durrell Communications and spokesperson for Build Urban.

“The development industry possesses invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities on the ground. By working together, we can find tangible solutions that address the urgent need for housing across our region.” 


Expected population growth means changes needed to increase homes available for residents


The region’s 10-year housing target is 70,000 new homes by 2031, which will require an average of just over 7,500 annual housing starts in Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo for the next eight years.

However, the tri-city municipalities have under 4,800 housing starts reported in 2023. The group notes that Waterloo’s expected population growth to 923,000 by 2051 means changes are needed to increase the number of homes available for residents. 

“Addressing the housing crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck approach,” says Durrell. “Build Urban is committed to helping the region reach these housing targets, providing expertise, evidence-based policy recommendations and support to ensure the necessary homes are built to accommodate a growing population.”


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