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Real estate crisis was decades in the making, ex-politician says

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Canada’s housing crunch is the result of decades of poor policy stemming from the federal government leaving the issue to the provinces in the 1980s, according to one former deputy prime minister.

Former deputy prime minister Sheila Copps said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg that when Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) was involved in building housing, there was a significant amount of national investment in housing as well as housing policy and strategy.

“The decision that was made back in 1987 to get out of housing at the federal level has resulted in 30 years of underbuilt housing, and also 30 years of not really analyzing good public policy on housing,” Copps said. “I think that’s a big issue.”

POLICY SHIFTS

According to Copps, who served as a Liberal deputy prime minister in the 1990s, housing policy in the 1970s saw the national government more directly involved in building housing, including the development of seniors and Indigenous housing.

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This changed in the 1980s when provincial governments took over housing policy, Copps said.

While some provincial governments, like Quebec, decided to allocate funding to social housing, Copps said many others have not.

“When the provincial governments took over the money (intended for housing), a lot of them didn’t actually spend it on housing,” she said.

From that period on, she said the federal government was not involved in housing until 2017 when the Liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decided to “insert itself back into the housing game.” Copps said this move marked the beginning of a collaboration that will take time to address the issues of shortage and affordability currently plaguing Canadian cities.

“Now five years later, we’re looking at a problem that has been percolating since we signed off on housing back in 1987,” Copps said.

“Sometimes a national government needs to be at the table to fix problems and leaving it up to 10 provinces and three territories is not always the right way to go.”

ENCOURAGING MIGRATION

In addition to building homes to increase supply, Copps said the federal housing strategy should also entail ways to incentivize migration out of Canada’s most densely populated areas.

“The other thing we need to look at is what the housing prices are in rural and remote communities versus urban areas and how we can encourage people to move around. We learned during the pandemic that everybody doesn’t have to live in downtown Toronto,” she said.

“There’s lots of opportunities to make people think about migrating elsewhere and getting maybe extra points for a registered homeownership investment plan. These things should be built into the thinking and to have that you really need to have a national government that is not just looking at building housing.”

 

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Housing and Accommodation Challenges Experienced by Canada’s Black Population

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Every human is entitled to housing and accommodation as part of their fundamental human rights and needs. While some residents of Canada enjoy this, the black community is socially exempted.

Canada’s Black population is currently experiencing discrimination from homeowners and landlords who prevent them from renting a home. Some blatantly refuse individuals with darker skin tones, while others raise the terms needed to rent the place, making it almost impossible for the average black person to sign an agreement.

According to a study by the Ontario Human Rights Commission, landlords often refuse people of African descent because some believe they are criminals or have too many children. These stereotypes harm the black population, preventing them from getting crucial accommodations for themselves and their family.

The situation becomes more tedious for immigrants as their post-arrival experience is riddled with fear, isolation, and anxiety. These individuals face discrimination from Landlords during the renting process as they encounter harassment and refusal for nothing more than their skin colour.

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Factors like culture, economics, and language barriers also reinforce these feelings of inferiority in African immigrants, and many are yet to adjust to Canada’s language or ways of operation.

Housing is also scarce in Canada due to extremely low vacancy rates, insufficient social accommodation, and rent-geared-to-income housing. Therefore, getting a place to stay becomes more tricky for immigrants since the low vacancy rate results in higher rent fees.

Unfortunately, limited data that describes the racial background of renters makes it challenging to demonstrate and quantify the extent of discrimination that renters of colour experience in housing.

The absence of this race-based data hinders the efforts of advocates from these communities to bring about changes in housing policies and practices to address discrimination.

Nevertheless, the limited data available from the University of Toronto indicates that there has been an increase in household income levels since the 1970s. Unfortunately, individuals living in low-income neighbourhoods still earn incomes that are below the average.

Even in neighbourhoods where income levels rise, there tends to be a decrease in the percentage of immigrants residing there. Consequently, the likelihood of residents in these neighbourhoods being people of colour also decreases significantly due to their economic state and discrimination.

While Canada’s black population and dark-skinned immigrants can challenge unfair housing requirements and racism due to Canada’s housing rights and the country’s anti-discrimination policies, many do not.

One reason is the hassle associated with filing a complaint and going through the necessary processes before emerging victorious. By that time, money and time have been spent, which isn’t something someone with limited time to find housing desires.

Another reason many African Canadians don’t challenge unfair housing requirements because some are unaware of Canada’s housing rights. Others don’t have the connection to community advocates to help find better housing in their desired neighbourhood.

Ultimately, the deliberate rejection of people of colour from acquiring housing in Canada is an act of pure racism and discrimination developed by unhealthy stereotypes of the black community. Such situations push these desperate individuals to low-income areas since Landlords raise the already high housing cost beyond the financial capacity of black renters.

Such acts of racism require additional efforts from the Canadian Government to implement a system to report discrimination regarding housing with quick resolution. Further action is needed to reform landlords to service people of colour according to the standard for Landlords, irrespective of what stereotypes they believe.

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Real eState

Why Mark Wahlberg and the ‘CSI’ Creator Are Buying Into Vegas’ Luxury Real Estate Boom – Hollywood Reporter

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Average price of three-bed semi passes €300,000 – REA – RTE.ie

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