New report compares London to other cities in slew of categoriesPublished: 2017-11-07
Megan Stacey, The London Free Press Original Article
London built new homes and apartment units last year at nearly the same rate as cities three times its size, new figures show.
More than 800 new residential units were created for every 100,000 people in London in 2016, more than double the 2015 rate. That ranks the city second only to Calgary, a city with a population of 1.2 million people, in a just-released report from Municipal Benchmarking Network Canada (MBNC).
The MBNC ranked 15 cities across Canada in a bevy of local government performance areas, measuring everything from the cost of providing police services to the number of bylaw complaints.
When it comes to new housing units, London outpaced larger urban centres such as Toronto and Montreal, racing well ahead of the median number of new residential units — 474 per 100,000 people — in last year’s tally.
New residential units include townhouses, apartment building units and single or semi-detached homes.
“It’s a good thing. It’s developing London and we’re taking advantage of this growth. It’s providing more work for the city,” said Peter Madsen, president of the London Home Builders’ Association.
And he doesn’t see that trend slowing down anytime soon.
“There’s still a lot of opportunity, there’s still a lot of great projects on the go. We’re booking out 2018 quite heavily,” Madsen said.
The 809 new units per 100,000 people built in London in 2016 came in a banner year for building.
“(Last year) was considered an all-time record year with respect to the total construction value of all building permits issued. It looks like 2017 will be the second highest in terms of construction value of all permits issued,” said Peter Kokkoros, London’s deputy chief building official.
The trend this year points toward townhouses. The city issued permits for 294 townhouse units in the first three quarters of 2016. The year-to-date numbers in September 2017 reflected permits for 617 units, Kokkoros said.
The MBNC report is a gold mine of numbers that show how London stacks up against other cities on everything from parking profits to shelter beds.
“One of the true values of MBNC, for municipalities, lies in the opportunity for staff to learn and share knowledge,” said Jon-Paul McGonigle, London’s manager of technology services and MBNC co-chair. “It provides a network for sharing best practices . . . from different regions from across the country.”
So, where does London stand among its peers?