Brampton's recorder Profile picture
Jul 4, 2018 27 tweets 7 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Good morning #Brampton, today is Wednesday, July 4, and there is no council meeting today.

I think this morning is a reasonable time to start discussing the city issues and the #onpoli election is over, and the #brampoli election is fast approaching.
The city of Brampton is currently undergoing a major housing and transportation crisis. The city has sprawled out incredibly rapidly in a disorganized fashion, consisting almost entirely of single family homes. We now have a catastrophic housing crisis in rentals, CMHC data shows
There being a 0.0% vacancy in (legal) bachelor apartments, and 1, 2, 3 bedrooms are sitting in the low 1.x range. The price? TREB estimated the median cost of a legal one bedroom at $1595. If you make $15/hour working full time, that is 4/5th of your take home pay.
Let's say you make a bit more than that, perhaps we should look at a starting bus driver who makes $48k, that doesn't sound so bad, right? Actually, they'd be paying 40% of their pretax income & 47% of net income. We aren't talking about vacations, we are talking about surviving.
So how do people get by then? They don't move out of their parents home, they move into rooming houses, or they move into basement apartments. The latter two are probably not registered with the city. Because all of this housing is added in suburban areas with poor transit,
people drive. They don't have a choice. That's why all of the neighborhoods are utterly clogged with cars, and why every other house seems to have a basement apartment. Some councillors want the province to suspend the right against unreasonable search to allow them to search any
home they want, if they suspect it of having a basement apartment. Let's say they succeed and route out the rooming houses and basement apartments, where would the people go? Raise your hand if you think tens of thousands of people living on the street in #Brampton is better.
Well how do we get out of this hole we have found ourselves in? Build more housing! But how is the city supposed to fund 100k units? The city can't, but the private sector can. The city of Brampton has ridiculous zoning rules that increase the price to the point where it blocks
redevelopment. Take Kennedy Road South, between Steeles and Clarence, the city wants it redeveloped, but guess what, city parking minimums raise the costs so high that it blocks redev. Restaurants? You'll need 4.5x the restaurant floor space in parking.
The argument against lower or no minimums is apparently that since developers would build *some* parking, that random numbers the city made up out of thin air is reasonable. It's a bit like saying that since people would drink some water, that forcing them to drink so much that
they get sick is reasonable. People have a built in dehydration indicator, it is called thirst. Similarly, developers and lenders will have some parking built, enough that they think they need. If you end parking minimums, then developers being fairly conservative, will build as
Much as they think they need. Over time, the amount would trend down. See Minneapolis, where reductions have caused parking units per unit to trend down, meanwhile, so has the rents for new units. Underground parking is incredibly expensive.
How expensive? It starts at 50k per spot and can hit 100k a spot. Meanwhile we require a bachelor apartment to have 1.5 spots. Yes, the parking for the units costs more than the units themselves to build. Who lives in studio and one bedrooms? Young people, poor people, and older
people, all of them use less parking than families. Anyone want to tell me what their #Brampton car insurance rate is? My guess is "too damn high". For person under 25, $500 a month is easy to hit, remember, that person making $15/hour has $400 a month left after taxes & rent...
What does 100k from parking costs add to a mortgage? Don't worry. Only like $500 a month, minimum.

So new units don't get built, which makes the shortage even worse. And people get forced into rooming houses.

If we don't have transit, how will people get around?
It is called the bus. If you haven't taken transit in the past ten years (or ever), Brampton Transit has gotten a lot better. Along Queen Street, there are parts with 4 minute headways, that is amazing. Ridership is growing by leaps and bounds, why?
Rent and car insurance are too damn high, ditching the car for a bus pass is the difference between barely surviving, and being able to save for retirement. The bus costs $120 a month, and a car can easily cost in excess of $800 a month with insurance and a car loan.
The solution is build more housing by higher frequency transit. Axe minimums within 500m of a stop that sees 8 minute or better headways, and up zone to 5 stories, with ground floor commercial allowed, & office space also allowed along arterials. Put in a $25/foot transit charge.
$25/foot is vastly cheaper than underground parking, and adds up to a substantial amount of money. 100k people at 400 square feet a person, and $25/ft is $1,000,000,000, a bilion dollars.

But how can the city absorb 100k people when the hospital is so overstretched?
That's the thing, when a city gets as overcrowded as #Brampton, and adds more units, the vast majority of people moving in to those units are from within the city itself. You would reduce overcrowding and make money for transit at the same time.
There is actually substantial demand for studio apartments from investors, if you remove parking requirements. They would have the fastest payback time of any rental, and because they have the highest turn over, rent control is less of a risk to income.
Let's say 5k of the 13k that #Brampton expects to move in per year go to 400sqft units at $25/sqft, that'd bring in $50m a year in transit charges. At that rate, the city could buy 50x 60ft buses a year, which have substantially lower operating costs per rider than 40ft buses.
Yes, the longer buses create #efficiency. You could lower the fare, increase operator pay, and lower the subsidy at the same time. If you spent that money on increased starting operator pay (which as discussed is too low relative to housing), you can actually save money in the
long run. BT has an operator shortage. When you don't have enough operators, you get a mixture of cutting bus trips and people being paid overtime. Paying people 1x, is cheaper than paying people 1.5x. Lower overtime also means less burnout. If you aren't cutting trips, then you
can collect more money, you can't collect fares on a bus that never left the station, and with operator compensation being the largest cost for running buses, overtime does bad things to farebox recovery ratios.
Who takes the bus the most? Young people and old people. What categories are the most dangerous drivers? Young people and old people. What does taking the riskiest drivers off the roads do? It reduces accidents, which reduces congestion, injuries, and insurance premiums.
You could support these changes because it is the morally right thing to do, or you could support it because it is good for your personal finances, or perhaps you are sick of your neighborhood being filled with rooming houses and cars on the street.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Brampton's recorder

Brampton's recorder Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!