Asking homeowners to own their wealth and put it to work

We spoke with journalist Michelle Cyca about one of the hardest truths we grapple with (and which gets us a lot of hate mail). Skyrocketing home prices have made many older Canadian homeowners rich, while making housing unaffordable for younger generations. But many homeowners resist thinking of themselves as wealthy, especially whenever the subject of taxation comes up. So how do we get more homeowners to recognize their wealth and put it to work fixing our housing crisis? 

We also discuss the high, personal stakes of housing unaffordability; how it’s changing Canadian neighborhoods and society; why "just move somewhere affordable" isn't a solution; and street parking.

“People need to recognize the power and the position that they have through their housing. Housing is the main form of wealth in Canada that most people draw from. And if you have a lot of housing wealth, then you are wealthy. It's uncomfortable. It's not the same as, you know, being Galen Weston, or like a private jet-flying billionaire. But it is real wealth, and it gives you real power. And we can see that power reflected in what our neighborhoods look like.”

— Michelle Cyca

Photo credit: Kayla MacInnis for The Narwhal

Michelle Cyca⁠ is the editor of Indigenous-led conservation coverage for The Narwhal and a regular contributor to The WalrusMaclean’s, and many other publications.

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