Will Liberals honour promise to increase housing supply?

by Neil Sharma on 21 Sep 2021

The Liberal Party of Canada staved off a strong Tory challenge for a consecutive minority government, and now Justin Trudeau is expected to keep his election campaign promise to increase housing supply.

“We are very much dependent on housing to support our economic recovery,” RESCON president Richard Lyall said. “We must find ways to significantly increase the number of new homes being built across the country. The leaders of all three major parties recognized this as a key issue on the campaign trail.

“The dire lack of housing is a critical issue that must be addressed, or our recovery will stall. Red tape is presently delaying construction of much-needed new housing developments and we are pleased that the Liberal housing plan includes a pledge to remove some of this unnecessary paperwork by providing tools to streamline the application and construction process as well as tackle NIMBYism.” RESCON says the only way to cut through the red tape is by digitizing the entire approvals and rezoning process, but in order for that to happen consultations must first take place between all levels of government.

“During the election campaign, all three major political parties recognized the severity of the housing supply problem and pledged to tackle the issue,” Lyall added. “It was also acknowledged that the federal government can’t fix the situation on its own. We need a housing summit to bring other levels of government to the table with industry leaders to solve the growing housing problem.”

Ahead of the Sep. 20 election, Nanos Research surveyed 500 adults in the GTA and found that 32% said affordable housing was the most pressing issue facing the region, followed by 17.6% who said it was the COVID-19 pandemic. The results suggest that Trudeau might not be so lucky next election if his government doesn’t solve the affordability crisis gripping Canada’s major cities.

“The thing is that, especially in the GTA, folks are worried about the cost of rent. They’re worried about the housing supply. They’re worried about the cost to pay their mortgage,” pollster Nik Nanos told CP24 on Sep. 15.

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