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February 10, 2020

Homeownership for the missing middle

Homeownership for the missing middle

​You own or you rent. Those are the standard options when it comes to where you live. The rental market typically serves those who are not yet able to afford the down payment so they can purchase their own home. It’s also sometimes the right choice for those who are retiring and are looking to downsize and use the equity in their home to live in comfort. In both instances, owning a home is often the preferred choice. But the cost for many is prohibitive. This is what has come to be known as the “missing middle” — not enough affordable housing for those in the rental market to step through and become homeowners.

“Right now, it’s especially challenging to break into the freehold home market, even in communities that aren’t urban, because it’s so expensive and there is so much competition from others looking to buy affordable homes,” says Robert Voigt, director of planning for Parkbridge, Canada’s largest owner, operator and developer of land lease communities. Land lease is increasingly the perfect vehicle to address the growing housing supply crisis across southern Ontario and other parts of the country.

For urban planners and municipal governments, the focus is on high-density housing and traditional single-family homes. They simply aren’t focused on this missing middle. However, the land lease homes market is addressing this important need. “What we provide with land lease is an opportunity for home ownership on land that you lease from the owner of the community, which allows significant savings on your initial investment in a home,” explains Voigt. Read more...​​​​