At the core of our mission we aim to reduce the cost and increase the supply of housing in Hamilton using effective, market-driven approaches and strategies.
INCREASE HOUSING SUPPLY
END RESTRICTIVE ZONING
One of the underlying barriers to adding new housing supply in Hamilton is a zoning regime which makes it time-consuming and expensive to add both ‘gentle’ projects like duplexes and secondary suites to larger, denser projects like mid-rise and high-rise towers. HamiltonForward advocates for liberalization of our zoning process to ensure more new supply can be built as-of-right.
ELIMINATE PARKING REQUIREMENTS
A simple change to lower the cost of building new housing in Hamilton would be to eliminate parking requirements. Other progressive cities have started to remove parking minimums, to improve walkability, to help the environment, and lower construction costs of new housing. It has been estimated in various studies across North America that the average below-grade parking spot can cost up to $50,000 to construct.
REDUCE AESTHETIC REGULATIONS
Unfortunately, Hamilton continues to implement more regulations and bureaucracy that do little more than micromanage design. Rules on setbacks, podiums, massing, and similar aesthetic features do little to nothing to improve development and instead decrease the amount of units that can be built in developments, and increase the cost of units that are built. HamiltonForward believes regulations on safety should be the priority, and that Hamilton should decrease aesthetic rules.
REFORM RENT CONTROL
Despite strong support and a noble goal, rent control policies have proven to be disastrous to the regions they are implemented in, often accelerating the increase of rent, always slowing or stopping new rental supply. HamiltonForward is pleased that the provincial government has chosen to exempt new construction from rent control regulations, and hopes future provincial governments continue this path.
FAIR-MARKET INCLUSIONARY ZONING
Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) advocates insist this policy would increase below-market housing supply without government investment. However, when enacted, IZ policies have slowed or stopped new housing construction, exacerbating the crisis. Rather than shifting the cost of below-market housing to new homeowners and renters, HamiltonForward believes the municipality (and the broader tax base) should have the right to purchase up to 10% of new construction units at their fair market value and then rent them out as below-market housing.