By Chris Carrier
At all levels of government housing is making news. Whether it is the type of housing stock, rental stock, condos or high, medium or low density all discussions seem to boil down to one key point. Why are the prices so high? A lack of supply of affordable lands is one factor. If I wanted to buy in the Blue Mountains or Collingwood I might not be able to afford it so I may to choose to buy in a neighbouring community. It makes sense that the cost to buy a home will vary in one community versus another.
Both the Simcoe County District School Board and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board have a differing view. Recently they announced their intention to increase local educational development charges by a whopping 188% or from $1,759.00 a residential unit to $5,064 per residential unit.
The lands costs vary widely across their jurisdictions. Just in Barrie and Bradford the land costs have increased 184% and 275% in the last 5 years.
School Boards could and should apply area specific rates, that is lower charges for lower growth and lower land cost areas.
The next time you ask yourself why is housing stock so expensive. Well the short answer is in part because the rest of us are subsidizing the cost to buy land for our schools boards in high growth areas such as Barrie and Bradford.