Reality check: How credible are the election promises on housing?

DM

Tackling the housing shortage. A growing number of housing experts have been flagging housing shortages as a source of soaring prices. As Canada’s population grows, mostly thanks to immigration, and as the large millennial generation hits the home-buying stage, the country hasn’t been adding enough homes, some evidence shows. Here’s what the major parties propose to boost the supply of homes available for both ownership and renting. Key promises: Liberals: “Build, preserve or repair” 1.4 million homes in four years; Conservatives: Build 1 million homes in three years; NDP: Build 500,000 affordable homes in 10 years. The campaign’s focus on building more homes is refreshing, says economist Mike Moffatt, senior director at the Smart Prosperity Institute. “I think the parties are starting to realize that we have a supply-side issue,” he says. “In the past, most of our (federal) policies have been demand-side policies: tax credits to help first-time homebuyers and those sorts of things.” And by promising to add hundreds of thousands, if not a million homes and more to Canada’s housing stock, Moffatt said federal political leaders seem to be grasping the magnitude of shortage Canada is facing.

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