This week, Dr. Jessica Ng, TIAO’s Director of Policy and Government Affairs, spoke on CBC Radio’s Afternoon Drive on how the lack of attainable housing is worsening the labour crisis in Ontario’s tourism industry, making it more difficult for tourism businesses to hire the staff they need and recover more quickly.
For housing to be deemed affordable, a general rule of thumb is that housing costs must represent no more than 30% of pre-tax household income. However, in Ontario, 46% of renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing, underscoring the increasingly limited availability of affordable housing and constraints on the current housing supply in both urban and rural destinations. Limited availability of attainable housing impedes the ability of workers to live close to where they work, impacting local and regional workforce recruitment, retention, and labour dispersion to rural tourism economies. Ultimately, lack of affordable housing limits the recovery, sustainability, and growth of local tourism activity.
In meetings with government and in our 2022 State of the Ontario Tourism Industry Report, TIAO has been advocating for attainable housing solutions, including incentivizing the development of purpose-built rentals in Ontario and requiring municipalities to not only intensify development but approve multi-unit residential buildings as part of their official plans. TIAO will continue to advocate for attainable housing solutions to support Ontario’s tourism workforce.