A Municipal Benchmarking Study released by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) has named the City of Barrie as the overall best municipality across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for getting new housing developments approved.
Altus Group Economic Consulting was retained by BILD to undertake a study of several factors that may be contributing to housing affordability issues in the GTA.
The study considered municipal approval processes, timelines for approvals, and government charges, and compared approaches across municipalities for dealing with the approval and development of new housing.
Barrie ranked first among 16 municipalities for having efficient approvals, low government development charges, and for offering helpful information and resources during the development approvals process.
Barrie also placed in the top four in each of the three categories reviewed, ending up with the highest weighted average score.
“With rent and home prices out of reach for so many, part of the solution must be building more homes and apartments,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “This top ranking for Barrie again this year recognizes the efforts the city is making to grow the supply of housing by being more efficient.
“This is truly a team effort, resulting from investments we’ve made in technology, our approval processes, and our people. I’m proud of the work being done to bring new housing to Barrie.”
In addition, the city earned “best in class” scores in two areas of this year’s study:
- for comprehensive, helpful information provided on Barrie’s corporate website in terms of planning application forms, documents and guides
- in availability of key planning documents
To build on this success in 2022, the city has initiated a process review to assess additional opportunities to streamline development approvals.
With more than 1,300 members, BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area.