Concepts 2.docx

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Denisse Macaraig

#CodeRedTO How did we get here? (4 Reasons) We have a congestion problem Average daily Toronto commute is 80 minutes No room for new roads but we will have more commuters as population grows Congestion is a PEOPLE thing not a CAR thing We have a funding problem. Our funding is limited Torontos cancelled vehicle registration tax raised $40M/year Torontos Land Transfer Tax raises about $300M/year Subways cost $350/km to build We have an approval problem 1910: Referendum passes on a Queen St subway; Toronto Mayor refuses to approve 1954: Yonge subway opens 1966: Bloor-Danforth subway opens 1992: Scarborough RT extension to Malvern proposed 1994: Toronto City Council refuses SRT extension due to required tax increases 1994: Premier upgrades Eglinton busway (BRT) plan to a subway 1995: New Premier cancels Eglinton subway 2002: Sheppard subway opens 2006: Ottawa City Council approves O-Train expansion; New Ottawa Mayor cancels it 2007: Toronto Mayor and Council approve 120 km (7 lines) Transit City plan 2009: Province announced tentative funds for 63 km (4 lines) 2010: Province provides confirmed funds for only 52 km (4 shorter lines) So how do we fix it? We reduce future congestion by increasing mobility for Ontario: Expanded transit coverage Increased transit frequency Depoliticize transit by creating predictable, stable, dedicated fund: Move transit funding out of general revenue Create named revenue sources targeted at specific needs LA Countys Measure R. generates 1.3B.year, costs average resident $25/year. Expires 30 years into the future. We stick to our plans, and stop waving in the wind Ontario has 4 rapid transit lines in operation Ontario has 6 rapid transit lines in design/construction Ontario has 10 cancelled rapid transit lines since 1994 What we are doing now isnt working. Ignore it is not an option. 1% transportation fund tax. HST + 1% = $1.5B/year LRTS not quite as fast or large as subways, but cheaper and better for the cost. Carry 3-5 busloads. Some LRT is being built. Sheppard East from Don Mills to Morningside. Replace aging Scarborough RT. New LRT from McCowan Station to Sheppard, partly elevated & partly underground. New LRT on Eglinton to Kennedy. Common Concerns Political Economy Housing is also intimately linked to the political economy of region. (i.e., local, regional, and national areas) Housing is linked to the political economy, broader economy of the area, link between government and business. Linked to local, regional and national. Tight relationship between political economy and housing. Trigger for urban change. Sociopolitical views may also not reveal the broader political economy in operation in a given region, or nation state Actual capital is important and like in other markets capitalism will inevitably produce inequalities The stress here is on the importance of the logic of capital accumulation in structuring norms and values Housing will only built at a profit (i.e., will be economically rational) Evidence of the significance of how inequalities can be formed can be witnessed in the creation and need for public housing (most obvious post- WWII) The city as a generator of wealth??? A new house is not just a new house, it is a new taxbase. And it equals jobs and supplies that are needed to build and maintain the house. There are housing bubbles. City of a generator of wealth? Excess capital = reinvest in the city. Generator of wealth. Surplus cash. Residential Location Fictitious commodity, cannot just build more, need land Residential Mobility Life cycle events, completion of secondary/tertiary education and/or training, marriage, family growth, children move out, employment change or retirement, death of a family member Mobility can be voluntary or forced, political (anarchy), environmental (Katrina). Personal choice: developed/undeveloped land, urban/suburban, suburban/countryside, danger/safety, own/rent, high-rise/low-rise, consumerism/amenities Neighborhood Change Since housing is a major land use, it directly impacts the built form Ageing housing stock (and the occupants) may lead to decline and the emergence of slums Large areas of N. American are what we can consider 'mature suburbs Approaching 40 years old Lack of new investment leads to other issues (I.e., children for schools and depopulation Neoclassical economics and demography Economists analyze housing in terms of supply and demand, which places a focus on consumer demand Sellers vs. buyers With a focus on buyers there is also a focus on demography With a focus on demography then in Canada immigration plays a role This focus on economics results in a hidden hand of relating consumer supply and demand In this case government intervention may mask actual prices and distort prices Consumer, demand. Sociopolitical views While economics can show us some aspects of pricing it actually neglects how the housing market is different from other commodities Housing is immobile and land is finite Consumers may lack complete information about their purchase Therefore supply-side factors have much more importance than in some other markets Different stakeholders all have a vested interest institutions, developers, lenders, landlords, and governments (at all levels) all exhibit some degree of economic and political power that ultimately affect supply and demand Supply factors. Drives prices high. Housing Tenure Owner occupier Majority of housing in Canada (63%) is owner occupied Most of these are single family detached or semi-detached houses. Condominiums are also increasing rapidly Greatest government housing financial support in UK and US for home ownership is via mortgage interest tax relief, in Canada it is through lower property taxes Key advantages: security, capital gains in rising property markets. As your house increases in value, youre not paying tax on that increase until you sell or buy a new house. Private rental In nearly all MDRs there is a reduction in the number of private rental units This is the result of rent control policies that reduce the profits of building rental housing Also a consequence of government subsidies to (favour) ownership In Canada, private investment in the building of rental units declined rapidly in Canada after the 1970s Today the majority of investment goes to high density residential condominiums Leads to an increasing lack of rental units Which is a major factor in Torontos current housing challenges (crises) Public (Social Housing) Social housing has been a component of housing markets since the beginning of the 20th century Particularly important in Europe Canada has seen a drastic decline of social housing supply since the 1990s Advantages Government assisted social housing for low-income households increased the housing supply for those least able to afford market rents Disadvantages Social stigmatization, especially in large projects High costs??? Often the housing was poorly designed Social mix is an issue There are other alternatives such as co-op housing Became popular in the 1980s Processes of Residential Area Change Filtering Requires no government intervention Market lead renewal Housing that is vacated by more affluent groups becomes available for lower income occupants Issues? Rent Control Gentrification Clearance and Renewal Abandonment Rehabilitation Rent Control Government plays a distinct role Ontario rent increase guidel
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