Chris Spoke founded Housing Matters, a Toronto advocacy group for increasing housing supply to address the affordability crisis in the city. The group is part of the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) global housing movement that shares the same values.
We hear about how zoning laws prevent an adequate supply of housing from being built, and why long-term residents often have a stronger influence in decision making as compared to younger renters. Chris tells us exactly how Housing Matters spreads their message and how listeners can get involved. With big changes underway in the Toronto city council, Chris shares his opinion on the impacts on affordability. He also compares Toronto’s approach to the the housing shortage to other municipalities in Canada countries. We finish off with Chris’ prediction for the future of Canada’s largest city.
Topics covered include:
- Why Chris decided to found Housing Matters.
- The skewing of public meetings towards long-time residents.
- The three ways that housing in Toronto could be made more affordable.
- Outdated land-use rules holding back the housing supply.
- The Ontario Municipal Board being replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
- Chris’ experiences when attending public meetings in person.
- The “yellow belt” supply constraint.
- Housing Matters’ stance on taxation.
- Ideal changes that Chris would make to zoning laws in Toronto.
- Residency associations not accurately representing their neighbourhoods.
- Who supports Housing Matters and why.
- Pro-YIMBY people not participating in municipal elections.
- Who should foot the bill for inclusionary zoning.
- Promises made by Toronto mayoral candidates regarding housing.
- Employers becoming a stakeholder for housing prices of their employees.
- New supply causing gentrification.
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s new affordable housing program.
- The impact of having less councillors in Toronto.
- What the future looks like.
A bit about our guest….
Chris Spoke is the Founder and Executive Director of Housing Matters, where he leads a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to advocate for greater housing availability and affordability in Toronto. Prior to Housing Matters, Chris worked as a Software Product and Project Manager for industry-leading digital agencies. Chris holds a B.Soc.Sc. in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Ottawa.
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