Expert: Main federal parties all say they'll make housing more affordable

Published: 15 September 2021

Canadian voters will be hearing a similar message from each of the major federal parties during the current election campaign: housing has grown too expensive, and we have a plan to fix it. The consensus reflects the increasingly dire state of housing in Canada, experts say, which affects everyone from prospective homeowners feeling squeezed out of the market to lower-income families languishing on waiting lists for affordable housing. (CBC News)

Here is an expert from McGill University who can provide comment on this issue:

Avi Friedman, Full Professor, Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture

The increasing costs of materials, labour, land and infrastructure have created an affordability challenge for an estimated 1.6 million Canadians who are first-time home buyers. In 2021, Canada saw a change in housing affordability in 10 metropolitan areas. For example, in the past 10 years, Montreal home prices increased by 43%. In some regions, people spend up to 70 percent of their gross annual income on rental or owned dwellings way over the recommended 30 percent. The three main parties who promise to invest in affordable housing fail to realize that to achieve affordability there are many other aspects of housing that must be addressed. These include creating denser communities, and building smaller dwellings, adaptable units, and multi-generational housing. The money promised must be tied to other changes which are currently under the control of provinces and cities.”

Avi Friedman is a Full Professor at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture. His research interests focus on factors which influence the design and implementation of affordable and sustainable building practices at the unit and community levels, including market acceptance, construction, and resource efficiency.

avi.friedman [at] (English, French)

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