The British Columbia Real Estate Association says the election of another minority government means that collaboration between parties will be key in making homeownership more achievable in Canada.
“During an election campaign it’s easy to get caught up in party politics,” says BCREA VP of government relations and stakeholder engagement Trevor Hargreaves. “But we can’t lose sight of the fact that what makes a minority government function is collaboration. Our new government now needs to put politics aside and focus on creating long-lasting, evidence-based housing policies that help Canadians.”
The Liberals, Conservatives and NDP all made increasing supply a part of their housing platforms during the election campaign and BCREA says it encourages the new government to find common ground as Members of Parliament begin their work on making housing more affordable in Canada.
The association says it agrees with the report from the Canada-British Columbia Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability that it is vital that the federal government develop a more comprehensive National Housing Strategy that creates “a planning framework that proactively encourages housing.”
This means developing a strategy that is focused on creating all types of housing, working with provincial and municipal governments, addressing the barriers municipalities face with development approvals and rewarding meeting federal housing targets. Particularly on the municipal side, this is a major cause of development delays, says BCREA.
“Supply-side measures take longer to implement and achieve, so they aren’t often a go-to policy option by politicians concerned with quick wins,” says Hargreaves. “But if you want to actually achieve forward movement in this housing market and truly help Canadians, it’s time to put optics aside, align the levels of government and vastly increase supply.”
In addition to working with governments, collaboration with housing sector organizations to develop and implement evidence-based policy initiatives are essential steps moving forward, says the association.