Hamilton needs to build 50,000 new homes

By Mike Collins-Williams
November 21, 2022

The West End Home Builders’ Association (WEHBA) – previously known as the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association – was formed in 1942 and is one of the oldest homebuilders’ associations in Canada. The association was established in a period when home construction in Hamilton and Halton experienced immense growth. Since then, WEHBA has grown along with Hamilton and Burlington, to become the third largest homebuilders’ association in Ontario, with its members spreading right across southwestern Ontario. For the past 80 years, WEHBA has been a strong supporter of existing and future homebuyers, representing the industry at all three levels of government and successfully advocating on behalf of consumers for housing choice, affordability and supply. In 2019, WEHBA was recognized both provincially and nationally by its peers across the country as it received top honours for a local homebuilders’ association in Ontario and Canada.

Tremendous change

Over the past decade, the cities of Hamilton and Burlington have undergone tremendous change. This is primarily due to rapid population increases in part from international immigration, but mainly through internal migration. Thousands of young people and families from the Toronto and Peel regions decided to resettle, while looking for new opportunities and a larger living space. Both Hamilton and Burlington are known for their high quality of life, and have become an attractive place to work and raise a family. However, this really is only the beginning of this new wave of growth in population and investment in what is known as the Bay Area. This population increase means new, complete communities and housing opportunities in the region, as well as vibrant city centres with a burgeoning variety of restaurants, retail stores, entertainment options and recreational facilities. The future is very bright in these two growing cities.

The growth of Hamilton and Burlington has actually accelerated in recent years. In fact, Hamilton is projected to grow from 584,000 residents today, to over 823,000 residents by 2051. To accommodate this rapid pace of growth, the Smart Prosperity Institute has stated that over the next decade we are going to need to build 52,400 new homes in Hamilton alone. That is more than double the current pace of housing construction. Burlington is on a similar trajectory in which housing production in the emerging downtown and along the three GO stations will have to increase significantly. This pace of growth brings major investment opportunities, new business prospects and abundant job creation. For homebuyers – this means a wide variety of different options for new communities to lay down roots in.

Exciting transformation

The transformation of the Bay Area is very exciting. A brand-new West Harbour GO Station downtown just opened, and a new station at Confederation Parkway is under construction. The federal and provincial government have invested an astounding $3.4 billion towards the Hamilton LRT that will connect the city through McMaster University, the downtown core and Stoney Creek. A colossal federal investment has been made towards cleaning up Hamilton Harbour and converting steel production into a greener, emissions free methodology. Much of the former Stelco industry lands are being cleaned up and converted to modern light industry and manufacturing. Hamilton and Burlington are transforming right before our eyes. As our cities continue to grow and bring in talented young students, families, and workers, the future is looking even brighter. With a wide diversity of complete, vibrant communities and a variety of housing options inclusive of all ages and budgets, the west end is truly the place to be.

About Mike Collins-Williams

Mike Collins-Williams, RPP, MCIP, is CEO West End Home Builders’ Association. westendhba.ca.

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