Housing report

None of the federal parties propose doing enough for housing: report

A UBC research lab says no federal party has a platform that will “restore housing affordability for all.”

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According to a nonpartisan research group from the University of British Columbia, none of the major federal political parties currently in place in British Columbia have proposed housing policies that would restore housing affordability.

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The group scored the election platforms of the federal Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green parties using the group’s housing affordability policy framework measures.

Paul Kershaw, founder of Squeeze Generation and associate professor in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC, said he was glad to see all the leaders recognize that the housing crisis was a “multi-faceted problem,” but noted that none of the parties seemed unwilling to address the underlying problem. issues that push home prices out of reach for young Canadians and newcomers.

“To restore affordability for all, we’re really going to have to change policy to help house prices stagnate so profits can catch up,” Kershaw said. “Imagine an escalator going up very quickly. Rising indexation is soaring house prices. The party leaders offer to get down the escalator faster than they’ve ever done before, but they can’t run fast enough.

None of them suggest we slow down the escalator, he said.

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“We’ve allowed this housing affordability crisis to grow to such an extent that we need to fundamentally disrupt the status quo,” Kershaw said. “It’s not just a foreign buyer, money launderer or house thief. It is ordinary Canadian households who are accustomed to betting on high and rising house prices for their financial security.

He said there is a fundamental conflict between the desire to make housing more affordable and treating it as an investment by encouraging home values ​​to rise – something that policy makers and ordinary Canadians alike must grapple with. .

He pointed a recent Angus Reid poll which found that 62 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents want house prices to fall.

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“Canadians are saying, ‘Hey, we’re open to falling house prices,'” Kershaw said, and suggested that politicians need to “catch up” with changing public opinion on housing.

According to the report, the Liberal plan is the most comprehensive, achieving two-thirds of the actions. The Greens and NDP promises meet a third – with a focus on providing non-profit housing. The Conservatives promise to act on a quarter, largely with a focus on the market.

The report assessed party platforms using 15 criteria in five main areas: having clear objectives and principles; increase non-market housing; addressing housing market issues; tackling the steady rise in home values; and governance and data collection.

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This is the first of several reports planned by Generation Squeeze during the election campaign.

ngriffiths@postmedia.com

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