About the Housing Crunch
$1.7 billion in annual Federal funding for Canada's 600,000 social housing units has already started to expire, putting one-third or 200,000 social housing units at risk.
The most urgent financial issue facing Canadians today
is the high cost of housing
High home prices and record levels of household debt are pricing a growing number of Canadians out of homeownership, which places mounting pressure on an already crowded rental market and on crumbling affordable housing units. For many of the most vulnerable in our society, shelters become their only option.
Whether it's attracting new workers and creating jobs or supporting a rapidly aging population and our most vulnerable citizens, municipalities understand that a stable and secure housing market is essential to community and economic growth.
What's at stake?
- The Bank of Canada is calling the imbalance in the housing market the number one domestic risk facing the economy.
- More than a decade of stagnant investment in rental housing and the pending loss of $1.7 billion annually in federal housing dollars are leaving fewer and fewer housing options for Canadians.
- 300,000 Canadians are homeless every year.
What are FCM and the Big City Mayors' Caucus calling for?
FCM and the Big City Mayors' Caucus are calling for all orders of government to work together on a long-term plan that will set the course for action and relieve Canada's housing crunch — a long-term plan that will:
- address the rising costs of housing
- improve predictability of investments
- address the scarcity of rental housing
- ensure renewal of the expiring federal dollars for affordable housing
- fulfill the 2013 budget commitment to work with FCM to reduce homelessness
What about smaller communities?
Smaller communities are facing similar challenges. Resource communities are booming while the cost and availability of housing for needed workers is prohibitive. Other communities are seeing a rapidly aging population create a labour force gap and the increasingly important role of housing to attract new Canadians and other young families.
What are municipalities doing about this problem?
Municipalities have been working to increase and preserve the supply of rental and affordable housing through measures such as tax exemptions, streamlined approvals, intensification and redevelopment, and alternative development standards.