A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives says the country is lagging far behind other countries in the battle to keep people in the country, and that it’s “the wrong approach”.
In the wake of the housing crisis, the country has seen record-breaking house prices, and it’s not all good news for renters.
As the report’s author, Sarah Blaikie, tells CTV’s Canada AM, the current economic situation is “absolutely terrible.”
Blaika says that Canada’s housing market is “one of the most unaffordable in the world,” and it needs to be tackled now, in order to maintain the stability that Canadians want.
Blaikkie is the executive director of the Canadian Institute for Research on Poverty.
The report says that in the province of Ontario, where she lives, “more than half of households are living in poverty.
That is the highest rate in the OECD.
The gap is even greater in Quebec, where half of families are living below the poverty line.”
“We are the country that’s the most likely to be affected by this, because we have the highest rates of homelessness, among other things,” Blaikenie says.
The problem is that the housing market in Ontario is “designed for a very low income level.”
That means there is little competition to buy or rent, and there’s little incentive to invest in a home.
“You have to buy and sell.
You can’t rent a home,” Blais says.
Blais and her co-author, Robyn Bowers, argue that Canada needs to “build on the ground floor of the country’s infrastructure to build up housing for the most vulnerable.”
The report’s authors say that Canada “needs to do a better job” of helping low-income people afford to live in their homes, but they also warn that the government needs to take action to help more people.
They want the government to increase the amount of money that low- to middle-income Canadians are able to access for rent, while also increasing the amount that is available for social assistance.
Bowers says the government has “absolutely failed” to build a better housing system, adding that she is “not sure that we are making any progress.”
The government “has absolutely failed to build the infrastructure to support families,” Blaaikkie says, adding: “I’m afraid that we’re not going to make any progress if we don’t get the resources we need.”
The report says the biggest problem facing the country right now is the lack of affordable housing, with only 3.5 per cent of the population owning their own home, compared to 16 per cent in the United States.
Blaaikie says that while it’s true that many of Canada’s low- and middle-class families “need help,” “there is still a lot of money to be made on the market for those families who can’t afford to buy.”
Blaikies report is based on a study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
It is based largely on a survey conducted in 2011 by the Ontario Association of Realtors, which found that only 30 per cent people who rent had a mortgage or were considering it, compared with 71 per cent who owned their home.
Blakes report also takes into account a 2012 study by University of Ottawa economist Mark Zandi, who found that “the vast majority of households in Canada are not in debt.”
In Canada, the report says, “the median household income is $56,000.”
“This means that less than one in 10 households in the entire country are actually in debt,” Blakies report says.
Canada’s Housing Market “Does Not Scale” Despite its problems, Canada’s real estate market has “stabilized,” Blaeikies authors say. “
These findings suggest that, in the short term, there is a real opportunity for the Canadian economy to shift from a housing-driven, low-cost economy to one driven by the private rental sector,” the report concludes.
Canada’s Housing Market “Does Not Scale” Despite its problems, Canada’s real estate market has “stabilized,” Blaeikies authors say.
In fact, “in the first quarter of 2017, the Canadian housing market rebounded slightly from a year earlier,” the authors write.
“The average price for a single-family home in Canada has increased by $2,846 in the first six months of 2017.”
Ziandi told CTV News he thinks the report is “very good” and “important.”
He says that the problem is “a lack of public policy that is based around housing.”
He also says that, “this is the most expensive housing market anywhere in the developed world.”
“There is no public policy in Canada that is driven by a housing sector that is capable of supporting its own growth, and supporting that growth requires public