September 18, 2023
Canada is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis. Renters and owners alike have seen their housing costs rise consistently, leading many to question how we got here, and what we can do to make housing more affordable. Experts and commentators point to a number of interrelated factors as culprits, including chronic insufficiencies in housing supply, financialization and speculation in the housing market, exclusionary zoning policies and cumbersome approval processes , and a general lack of affordable housing units, to name a few. In any case, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) estimates that housing was last affordable in 2003 and 2004. Today, home ownership is no longer a viable option for many middle class Canadians due to record-high home prices coupled with high mortgage interest rates. Meanwhile, soaring rent prices in or near urban centers like Vancouver and Toronto severely limit the housing options of middle and lower income earners. With these challenges in mind, we conducted an online, nationally representative survey among 1,000 Canadians in March 2023 to gauge how Canadians feel about the housing affordability crisis, and which policies they think are most effective at addressing it.