Ottawa Housing Starts Plunge As ‘Crisis’ Deepens


This is a shocking figure coming out of a report to finance committee this morning:

In Q2 2023, there was a 21.3 per cent decrease in housing starts from Q2 2022 from 2,144 to 1,688 housing starts. All dwelling types, except for apartments, experienced a decrease in starts year-over-year, with single detached starts down 47.1 per cent from 643 to 340 starts, semi-detached starts down 35.7 per cent from 56 to 36 starts, and rowhouse starts down 36.5 percent from 805 to 511 starts. Meanwhile, apartment starts were up 25.2 per cent from 640 to 801 starts.

For all the bluster on the ideological left of council, where is the action taken to solve its self-proclaimed “housing crisis”?

Is there a housing shortage in Ottawa? No doubt there is. But where is the action to deal with that from a council that got all excited about appointing a night mayor?

City Emperors Have No Clothes: BENN

Housing starts are precipitously down over the past year. No doubt because of high interest rates. So what concrete action has the minister in charge of cycling, Jeff Leiper, done to address this? What has Capital Councillor Shawn Menard accomplished on this front?

While Menard, Leiper and company are on the cusp of increasing free money to Lansdowne to the tune of a half-billion dollars, house building in their “housing crisis” has plummeted. No doubt because money has become much more expensive for builders with rising interest rates. Nevertheless, they’ve jumped aboard the term “housing crisis” but what’s being done? Housing starts are down. That’s at counter-purposes to their avowed aims. And they want intensification under the very false premise that this will put smallest of scratches on the real climate crisis.

In other words, the people bring the term to the fore to show their concern, but in real terms, the housing situation has become worse. Is there an easy answer? No. Do I have the answer? No. But then I’m not the councillors for Kitchissippi and Capital wards.

I’m tired of words from politicians. We pay them for actions and if they can’t do what they purport to be concerned about, then we should get new ones who can put substance behind their words.

And homelessness, just as an aside, is readily apparent on what city officials are calling “the beach” at King Edward Avenue and Murray Street. Many, many homeless people are sitting or sleeping on the wide sidewalk there in the sun. Furthermore, though your agent rarely gets to the ByWard Market, I brought one of my computers to my repair shop in the market and the place was broken into as the proprietor and myself were chatting at the front of the establishment. My repair person chased the crook and grabbed my computer back from him.

This is not an isolated occurrence, according to my repair person. Far from it. The mess in the market is for all to see. Part of it is due to the housing crisis.

What have we done about it? Said it’s a problem and appointed a night mayor who will deal with entertainment. There won’t be any entertainment in the market if the bullets keep flying and social conditions continue to deteriorate. But we have a night mayor.

This is a time for a serious city council because we face serious times. Instead, our councillors spend time debating the merits of a night mayor while a nightmare unfolds in front of them.

This is not a serious council. Its members need to become that or voters need to elect one.

Council is not a debating society or a group where collegiality is above all. Where to get along means bobbling your head with a vacant smile.

Council OKs New Waste Collection Rules

It has important work to do. Where is the work on housing? We’re going backward.

Where are the words? There’s lots of words.

Ken Gray

The full report is here:

Economic Development Update – Q2 2023




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1 Response

  1. sisco farraro says:

    Yes, Ken, it appears as if the city councillors you mentioned don’t really understand what they’ve taken on but I bet they both have really cool Facebook pages. This is the real priority after all.

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