Between the 1950s and the 1970s, Canada supported the construction of high-rise rental housing across the country – creating affordable homes for millions. As this crucial housing supply ages, a set of quality standards must now be set in place to ensure the health, comfort, and safety of the millions who call these apartments home.
As a renewed federal focus is placed on housing through the National Housing Strategy, there is now a window of opportunity to revisit housing quality standards. Building owners are already beginning to make substantive investments in their aging buildings, and as they do so, it is urgent that issues of fire safety, air quality, mould, overheating, and chronic elevator breakdown are taken into consideration. These crucial holistic considerations are typically outside of energy reduction-driven performance standards, and are not adequately addressed through retrofit requirements in provincial building codes.
The Tower Renewal Partnership is undergoing steps to develop a framework for holistic housing quality standards recommendations.