Canada's housing crisis: facing hard truths to find solutions

For this episode, Paul Kershaw, Aleem Punja (National Operating Officer, Aga Khan Council for Canada), and Ene Underwood (CEO, Habitat for Humanity GTA) wrestle with hard truths Canadians must face to make housing affordable again for younger generations and newcomers:

  • the interplay of housing and immigration policy;
  • renegotiating Canadians' expectations about home ownership and wealth;
  • Habitat for Humanity's innovative adaptations to the GTA's housing market;
  • what we can learn from places that are making strides on housing affordability;
  • and how we can take action in our own lives.

This episode builds on a three-part discussion series, "Housing in the GTA," organized by Generation Squeeze, the Future Ready Initiative, and Habitat for Humanity GTA this past spring. Their shared goal was to help Torontonians cut through distracting rhetoric about housing, so we could move more quickly to implement solutions. The series received generous funding from the Canerector Foundation and was beautifully hosted by the Ismaili Centre – Toronto, with support from many dedicated volunteers. 

Aleem Punja is the National Operations Officer for the Future Ready Initiative, a flagship community-based, multi-service organization of the Aga Khan Council for Canada. He also holds the position of Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for the Toronto Lands Corporation and is an Executive Member of Civic Action's Emerging Leaders Network. 

Ene Underwood has been the CEO of Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area for over a decade. There she leads a team that defies the odds by helping working families build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership in what is characterized as one of most challenging residential real estate markets in North America. Ene was also member of Ontario’s Housing Affordability Task Force which filed its report with the Ontario government in February 2022 setting an ambitious goal of 1.5 million new homes over the next decade.  

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