On March 25th, the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), the West End Home Builders’ Association (WE HBA), and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), in partnership with Enbridge Gas, hosted the inaugural 2024 Central Ontario Housing Summit, in Burlington Ontario.

The Central Ontario Housing Summit featured several panel discussions, presentations by elected officials, opportunities for open dialogue and provided a platform for industry and government to engage in collaborative discussions on how to address the current housing shortage. Beginning with opening remarks from WE HBA President John-Anthony Losani, Susan Cudahy of Enbridge, OHBA President Dave Depencier, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Hon. Paul Calandra, both the private and public sector expressed commitment to working together, with a focus on “innovation, collaboration, and forward thinking”, said Depencier. For the first session of the day, Conservative Shadow Minister of Housing MP Scott Aitchison, alongside WE HBA CEO Mike Collins-Williams, discussed the role of the federal government in housing policy, his experience as a municipal councillor in Huntsville and how, if elected a Conservative federal government would move the needle on housing. During the second session, Provincial Associate Minister of Housing Hon. Rob Flack, MPP highlighted the Province’s effort to make the dream of homeownership a reality for Ontarians, through reducing barriers and creating opportunities and an environment for the private sector to deliver housing. The Associate Minister highlighted the challenges young people are currently facing trying to obtain attainable housing in their community.


The first discussion panel of the Summit titled “Housing Supply in Action” featured several professionals from the residential construction Industry at large. The panel explored data, demographics and the causes of the housing crisis, as well as the next steps, including increasing support for infrastructure and innovation. Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who also Chairs Ontario’s Big City Mayor’s Caucus, hosted the lunch session and outlined the steps Burlington has taken to facilitate housing supply, including improvements to housing permitting processes and emphasizing the need to “shoot for the stars” on housing policy.


For the afternoon program, Parliamentary Secretary of Housing MP Chris Bittle took the stage and further explored the federal role in increasing housing supply. Following lunch, two discussion panels, Finding the Missing Middle and Building Capacity, explored the barriers and successes in building new housing. The panels also discussed the need for cities to reduce barriers that prevent certain types of housing and innovations taking place in modular housing, automation, AI, and education to facilitate building more homes during a labour shortage.



For the last session of the day, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, MPP Matthew Rae emphasized the need to make the dream of homeownership a reality, and outlined what the provincial government is doing to facilitate that dream. Susan Cudahy of Enbridge and WE HBA CEO Mike Collins-Williams closed the event, reiterating that the private and public sectors need to take drastic action to break down barriers to housing supply, and work in collaboration to ensure affordability, attainability, and quality housing for all.