Housing wealth and generational inequity
Generation Squeeze received funding from the National Housing Strategy's Solutions Labs Program, via the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)*, to take action on one of three pillars in our comprehensive housing solutions framework -- the need to break our country's Addiction to High and Rising Home Values.
Wealth and the Problem of Housing Inequity across Generations: A Solutions Lab examines how everyday Canadians are entangled in a web of public policies that motivate them to count on rising home prices to gain wealth – even though these same high prices make it harder and harder for those who follow to afford a home at all. When home prices rise faster than the incomes of Canadians, we erode affordability. A good home should be in reach for what hard work can earn.
How can we change the policy incentives that entangle Canadians in propping up the housing unaffordability crisis?
Gen Squeeze always has a strong focus on proposing answers – not just identifying problems. Below are four solutions to help break the addiction to high and rising home values generated by working groups that drew from ideas offered by the 70+ experts who participated in the Solutions Lab.
- Scale-up investment in green, affordable, purpose-built rental and co-op housing – which is possible if we align the focus of CMHC on housing affordability with the mandate of the Canada Infrastructure Bank to function as an impact investor. (Summarized as part of the graphic in #2 below).
Reduce collateral damage to housing affordability from monetary and lending policies that don’t adequately capture increases in housing prices in calculations of inflation. Click here to view our new page about cheap credit and housing affordability.
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- Put a modest price on housing inequity to disrupt the unfair tax shelter on principal residences by creating a small annual, deferrable surtax on the top 10 % of homes. Learn more about this recommendation here
Transition low-density housing into a pool of permanently affordable rental units, and create a Perpetual Affordable Housing Bond to help generate the funds to support these transitions.
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Download the full report HERE
*Note: A number of CMHC employees took part in the lab as independent participants providing technical expertise and advice. The views expressed are those of lab participants and should not be attributed to CMHC or to the Government of Canada.
This lab received funding under the National Housing Strategy's Solutions Labs Program. For more information visit: www.cmhc.ca/SolutionsLabs.
The solutions were developed by stakeholders for consideration by governments, rather than the other way around. It is anticipated that lab findings have potential to support decision-making at all levels of government. However, there is no direct link between the lab activities and any specific government branch or department of government.
A Modest Price on Housing Inequity | Blog: Breaking Canada’s addiction to high and rising home prices: a price on housing inequity | Blogue : Rompre avec la dépendance du Canada envers des prix élevés et croissants pour les maisons : un prix sur les inégalités dans l’accès au logement | Media Release | Cheap Credit and Housing Affordability