Last summer, the Liberal Party’s leader Michael Ignatieff promised he would have a national housing policy before the next election, yet that’s the last we’ve heard of it. It’ll be more fodder for the Conservatives who going all out in the media with trash talk and mud slinging. Can imagine it getting worse for him, but It likely will.
Ignatieff spoke of the key role of new housing development and affordable housing in a stronger, better Canada, yet we’re left to believe that it’s just more hot air coming from a politician. If affordable housing is just a pipedream, then perhaps Ignatieff shouldn’t have brought the issue up.
The issue of affordable housing is most intense in Vancouver and Toronto. These are cities that need help yet the current Conservative government has an obsession with balancing the budget by 2016. The conservatives have killed new property development and quashed demand for housing which means Vancouver buyers and renters are in for many more years of paying way too of their income for housing. As Canada’s economy rebounds (in 2016 as the Conservatives would like), Vancouver’s real estate market will overheat resulting in even more significant problems for residents and those wishing to move to Canada’s best city.
The election is just ahead so Ignatieff is unlikely to design and publish his national housing policy. Although it was the liberals who killed the last national housing policy, I’m still hoping they will do something to at least revive the home construction and real estate industries. Merely suppressing or holding house prices steady is not a national housing policy. Homes are still too costly, and prices in many cities are not falling. In Calgary, they’re rising. The solution to our national housing and real estate crisis is to build more homes. Home developers need more incentives and support by the government.
The situation is acute in Vancouver and some wouldsay that Vancouver’s homeless crisis and social malaise in eastside Downtown can be attributed to government policies. In a country as materially rich as Canada, it makes no sense for people to be homeless, or for the majority of the population not be able to buy a home or condo.
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