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Canada is facing a housing crisis. There is a shortage of 3.5 million houses and apartments

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Canada needs an additional 3.5 million new apartments and houses by 2030 to meet needs and restore affordability. The federal government addressed the housing crisis at its meeting on Wednesday.

According to estimates by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), at the current pace of construction of new houses and apartments, there will be 2.3 million of them in 2021-2030, as a result of which Canada there will be 19 million houses and apartments. Meanwhile, as CMHC indicated in a report from June this year, at the end of this decade Canada should have approximately 22 million houses and apartments, i.e. an additional 3.5 million to provide a place of residence for every Canadian.

“Relying on private financing has not worked.”

Relying on private financing has not worked, say experts quoted in the media. The increase in real estate prices is responsible for, among others, immigration (currently up to half a million people per year) and treating real estate as an investment. The CMHC report indicates that the housing needs include 2 million rental apartments. The last time the housing market was considered affordable was in 2003 and 2004. Back then, middle-income households spent 40 percent on housing. disposable income to buy a medium-sized home in Ontario, Canada’s largest province. Currently it is 60 percent. disposable income with the average house price in Ontario in July this year. over 856 thousand CAD. However, while in 1945 the average house size in Canada was less than 80 square meters, today it is approximately 180 square meters.

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Single-family housing estate in CanadaShutterstock

The government is aware of the housing crisis

The housing crisis was one of the main topics of the three-day government meeting last week. The Canadian Press reported that the guests at the meeting were experts. There is no plan yet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced further work, adding that “Canadians know that there is no one magic solution.” He stressed that the government sees “densification and partnerships with cities in all provinces as fundamental.” The federal government is not responsible for the housing market in Canada; the Canadian constitution indicates provincial responsibility. Trudeau, whom the opposition criticizes for the crisis, said last week that “housing is not the primary task of the federal government (…) but it is something we can and must help with.” The Government of Canada has agencies and institutions that support construction, such as CMHC. There are also legal acts, such as the Act on the National Housing Strategy of 2019, which defines the right to housing as one of the human rights. “We have a 30-year deficit in the non-commercial housing market,” said Andy Yan, head of the City Program at Simon Fraser University, quoted by public broadcaster CBC. Colombia British.

The cuts from the 1980s still have effects today

The lack of a federal housing policy includes: the effect of budget cuts in the mid-1980s introduced by the conservative government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Federal support was reduced, and by 1993 the Mulroney government withdrew funding for social housing and turned management of such support to the provinces. This policy was continued by subsequent liberal and conservative governments. Previously, however, the federal government had been active in housing; before World War II he supported, among others, municipal and cooperative construction and job creation in the sector. During World War II, almost 46,000 were created. houses. Since the establishment of the CMHC in 1946, the federal government has supported credit insurance and subsidized housing for the indigent. In the 1970s, the federal government provided aid to 40 percent. all commenced construction sites. Currently, approximately 66 percent Canadians own the house or apartment in which they live, according to Statistics Canada data from the 2021 census. However, the largest Canadian bank, RBC, pointed out in its report, over the past decade the number of renters has grown three times faster than the number of property owners . The number of properties rented, mainly by young people, increased by 22%. during this time, the number of purchased – by 8%. “The increase in the number of tenants will not slow down,” RBC analysts emphasized.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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