None of the Federal Parties’ Plans Will Fix Housing Affordability: Report
If you had high hopes of reform on the affordable housing front post-election, your bubble may burst in a way one won’t in the housing market.
According to non-partisan housing affordability research group Generation Squeeze, none of the national parties’ platform promises would ensure housing affordability for all Canadians.
From the Liberals’ plan to introduce a federal rent-to-own program and the Conservatives’ promise of a federal Beneficial Ownership Registry, to the NDP Party’s commitment to build 500,000 affordable homes in five years, housing is front and centre of the federal election.
Generation Squeeze scored the platforms of the Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic, and Green parties across 15 criteria associated with its comprehensive policy framework for housing affordability.
“Gen Squeeze worked with academic and community experts to produce a comprehensive policy framework to fix the housing system. The framework points to 15 different action items,” reads the report. “None of the Party platforms address all 15. As a result, there is reason to remain concerned that the large gap between housing costs and local earnings will persist.”
All 15 dimensions were divided into five different groups, with each party receiving zero points if they make no commitments on the issue, half a point if they make promises that are realistically “somewhat capable” of achieving the goal, and one point if their commitments are actually capable of achieving the goal.
The areas scored are:
Clear goals and principles
- Do the platforms advance the goal of all Canadians being able to afford a home by 2030?
- Do the platforms recognize housing as a human right?
- Do the platforms demonstrate a commitment to the principle of Homes First, Investments Second?
- Do the platforms make room for everyone?
Scale-up non-market housing
- Do the platforms protect and upgrade existing non-market homes?
- Do the platforms create new non-market homes?
- Do the platforms create new strategies to serve the most vulnerable?
Fix the regular market
- Do the platforms include action to dial down harmful demand by …
- Dialing down more obvious problems?
- Resisting dialing up incentives to borrow and bid more?
- Do the platforms include action to dial up the right kind of supply?
- Do the platforms dial up protections for renters and rental housing?
Break the addiction to high home values
- Do the platforms help Canadians to earn money on things other than housing?
- Do the platforms support decreasing income taxes, and increase wealth taxes?
- Do the platforms cushion the impact of a price drop?
- Do the platforms propose actions to improve housing governance?
- Do the platforms include actions to improve housing data?
So, which party came closest to meeting Generation Squeeze’s housing affordability framework? The Liberal Party’s platform scored the most points, reaching 10.5 out of 15 possible points. Next, the Green Party was granted 6 points, followed by the NDP Party with 5.5 points. The Conservatives fared the worst, with just 4 out of 15 potential points.
“None of the parties propose to restore affordability for all by adapting policies so home prices will stall in order to give earnings a chance to catch up,” reads the report.