PM's comment about housing prices is a game changer
"House pricing cannot continue to go up," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week in London, Ontario — the first Canadian city to strike a deal with the federal government under the Housing Accelerator Fund.
“The promise of Canada...says that every generation gets to benefit from the hard work of the previous generation and succeed even more. Well for too many people, that promise of Canada seems under threat.”
No GIF or emoji in the world could capture our gratitude. For many years Gen Squeeze has called for housing policies to align around this goal: to restore affordability for all, housing prices must stall, until earnings catch up. And we were deeply heartened to hear the Prime Minister's take on Canada's intergenerational promise.
The Prime Minister boldly acknowledging this hard truth strengthens all other federal housing policy commitments. Ambitious targets for building more homes do little good if we ignore the prices for which these homes will sell. Without deep subsidies funded by tax dollars, new market units will price in the rising land values that have already soared well beyond what most can afford to rent or buy with local earnings.
Publicly affirming that home prices “cannot continue to go up” acknowledges that we can no longer sustain the amount of housing wealth being extracted from our housing system by homeowners. This wealth is being accumulated at the cost of profound unaffordability for those who follow, including the kids and grandchildren we love.
Gen Squeeze founder Paul Kershaw recently spoke at the Cabinet Retreat about the intergenerational tensions compromising our housing system. While we so often model solidarity between generations within our own families, this solidarity is eroded when rising home prices create wealth for some, and unaffordability for others. Halting the upwards spiral of home prices is a key ingredient to restore solidarity.
The Prime Minister’s game-changing recognition of the need to stall housing prices is a strong foundation from which to launch a Federal Council on Generational Fairness.
Thank you, Prime Minister and Liberal Party members, for offering this transformational housing statement. It is courageous to call out rising home prices as part of the unaffordability crisis squeezing too many Canadians — especially younger residents. The Gen Squeeze team feels exceptionally hopeful that the Prime Minister has set Canada a path to break our cultural addiction to high and rising home prices and restore housing affordability.