How can Canada fix the housing crisis? Across the country, rents have risen sharply and home prices have skyrocketed. The shortage of affordable accommodation is acute. It is causing generational conflict, straining the social fabric, and eroding the traditional welcoming stance Canadians have had toward immigration. The country needs to build homes now.
In this series, we explore the many facets of the crisis. (See full list of articles below.) Our authors examine philosophical questions about whether housing should be treated like a commodity or a social value, like universal health care. They tackle ground-level issues, like how citizens can stand against the NIMBY phenomenon that blocks construction in so many Canadian cities and towns. Is there a role for Ottawa to play the captain of a Team Canada strategy?
The country’s political leadership does not offer enough incentives for the construction of truly affordable units that low-income renters can actually afford. Why? To fix the crisis faced by renters who live in substandard housing or government-assisted housing, leadership at the national, provincial and municipal level is required. And governments need to move fast.
In First Nations communities, an Indigenous-to-Indigenous housing finance model could get far more homes built in communities where banks won’t go and the federal government won’t back loans. The role of immigration in housing shortages has come under the microscope. How much does it actually contribute to the problem?
A million Victory Houses were built in Toronto between 1946 and 1960 thanks to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Could the CMHC again underpin this kind of grand strategy to finance social and affordable housing?
The federal government has announced a GST rebate on the construction of apartment units. Should the provinces follow with similar breaks on their provincial taxes? Quebec has decided it won’t. It plans instead to invest in public housing, co-ops and not-for-profit housing. Which approach is more effective?
This series explores the fundamental flaws in the way the country treats the housing market. It also examines the effectiveness of government action. Most importantly, it proposes potential solutions to one of Canada’s great current domestic challenges.
In this series:
Financial support for this series was provided in part by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The views expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the views of CREA. As described in the Policy Options Commitment to Readers, sponsorships are handled separately from our independent editorial process.