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7 solutions to alleviate Canada’s housing crisis: RBC Economics

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Recently, RBC Economics and Thought Leadership released its report, The Great Rebuild: Seven ways to fix Canada’s housing shortage which discusses factors that led to Canada’s housing crisis and policy ideas to address it.

The organization’s research found that one million of 1.9 million new households by 2030 won’t be able to purchase a home if affordability remains near where it is now. On top of this, over 40 per cent of those households also won’t earn enough to afford market rent prices.


Source: RBC Economics


“The current affordability crisis has been driven by a massive undersupply of housing in the face of booming demand,” says Robert Hogue, assistant chief economist, RBC Economics. “Canada needs to significantly grow its housing stock, especially rental and affordable housing, and it needs to do so quickly. Addressing this challenge will require greater collaboration between governments, industry and other stakeholders.”



Ideas to fix the country’s housing shortage


The report suggests these seven actions for bringing meaningful home price and rent relief:

1. Aggressively expand the construction sector’s labour pool by prioritizing immigrant skills, recognizing credentials from other jurisdictions and setting ambitious targets for trade enrollments.

2. Develop and adopt innovative designs, building techniques and technology to boost productivity through prefabricated housing and pre-approved building designs.

3. Speed up housing project approvals by reducing regulatory requirements, harmonizing building codes and prioritizing projects with faster turnaround times.

4. Ease zoning restrictions to allow more density in cities and diversify the types of houses built to make more productive use of land.

5. Lower the cost of building new housing by using more cost-efficient materials and modulating government charges.

6. Change the housing supply mix with incentives to build purpose-built apartments by waiving development charges and using publicly owned land.

7. Expand the housing stock from within by reclaiming units from short-term rental businesses, making it easier to build secondary suites and convert non-residential buildings.


“We’re working with Canadians across the country — homeowners, builders, policymakers — to help ensure home ownership remains part of the Canadian dream. Efforts will have to go beyond what’s been done so far, and we hope these pragmatic ideas help rebalance supply and demand and do so in ways that continue to drive Canadian prosperity,” explains John Stackhouse, SVP, Office of the CEO, RBC.


Read the full report here.


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