CPPA: housing is the #1 biggest cost most households face, affordable housing policy is mission critical.

By Staff

September 8th, 2021



The Gazette has in the past few weeks turned to the Canadian Council for Policy Alternatives for an unbiased independent view and analysis of significant issues in the federal election.

Their analysis on Affordable Housing is instructive. The full report is HERE.

First, we bring you the good news: Canada’s political leaders are talking about affordable housing in this federal election. Given that housing is the #1 biggest cost most households face, affordable housing policy is mission critical.

Now for the bad news: Most of the political parties have nothing meaningful to say about creating and sustaining a rental housing stock that provides affordable, good quality, and stable homes for everyone who rents.

Renting is not a phase. Close to 60% of tenant families make more than $32,000 and less than $108,000. According to our research, these families are likely to rent from for-profit providers for the long-term, which means they may spend too much in rent, live in inadequate housing, or feel insecurely housed for most or all of their lives.

CCPA Ontario Senior Researcher Ricardo Tranjan is analyzing all of the parties’ housing promises in this election. Here’s what’s missing:

• A plan to build large numbers of truly affordable rental housing every year, year after year, indeterminately¬¬—with or without private sector partnership.

• A plan to purchase and nationalize considerable parts of the existing stock to make or keep it affordable until we grow affordable rental housing capacity.

• National rent control policy.

“Parties continue to treat renting a home as a phase, as an undesirable
situation that people must overcome. This perspective is not only
out of touch with the reality of a large share of the population,
but it also thwarts a much-needed debate on how to
make renting a suitable alternative to home ownership.”
— Ricardo Tranjan

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2 comments to CPPA: housing is the #1 biggest cost most households face, affordable housing policy is mission critical.

  • Ben Tuinman

    Wishful thinking! Affordable housing, as much as it is needed, will never be a reality for a large number of Canadians, since developers will continue to roll out condos and townhouses that quickly sell to the 40% of Canadians that can afford them. Hence, no rental units are available. On top of that, foreign buyers are in the Canadian realty market driving up the prices, and then flip them for large sums of money in profits. I have grand children who have good paying jobs, and easily can afford the monthly mortgage payments. They are not in the market since the down payments required are out of reach! No political party is going to solve this, despite all the promises. Mark my word !

    Burlington is a highly attractive place to live. We are slowly losing our identity as is evidenced by the enormous building boom taking place all over our waterfront and elsewhere in the City. Condos after condos are rising everywhere. The roadways are at high capacity and becoming a mess. What will our City look like 20-30 years from now?
    My humble opinion,

  • Harold

    Renting is also an alternative for seniors who are not able to maintain a house after retirement. Selling the house, paying off the remainder of the mortgage and moving to a rental apartment is a viable alternative. And also a lifelong one at that stage of life. But pensions will not cover a monthly outlay of $2,000 to $2,500 for a nice apartment. Affordable unfortunately can mean old, tiny and frugally maintained. We can and should do better.