Outdated regulations and bureaucratic red tape are hindering housing affordability in Canada

In this episode of Leaders on the Frontier, host David Leis dives into Canada’s growing housing affordability crisis. Wendell Cox, a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the author of both the Demographia Housing Affordability in Canada index and the Demographia International Housing Affordability Report, joins David to explore the severe impact of rising housing costs in Canadian cities. They look at historical and current data, showing how housing prices in places like Toronto and Vancouver have soared, making it tough for many to afford homes.

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Housing crisis in Canada driven by overregulation

Key points covered in their discussion include:

  • Housing affordability means the cost of housing relative to household income.
  • Housing was once affordable before overregulation kicked in.
  • Government policies like urban growth boundaries and agricultural reserves have driven up land prices.
  • More Canadians are moving from expensive cities to smaller communities because they can’t afford to stay.
  • Similar housing issues are happening in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the U.S.
  • The idea that higher-density living is more affordable is a myth.
  • There’s a need to reform policies to open up land for development and cut down on regulatory burdens.

The episode stresses the urgent need for better public policies to tackle the housing crisis, ensuring future generations can afford to live and thrive in Canadian cities. It calls for immediate action to reform outdated regulations, open up more land for development, and reduce bureaucratic red tape. By addressing these issues, we can make housing more affordable, support economic growth, and create vibrant communities where everyone has the opportunity to prosper. The discussion emphasizes that without significant policy changes, the dream of homeownership will remain out of reach for many Canadians, jeopardizing the future stability and prosperity of our cities.

Our Guest

Wendell Cox is a consultant specializing in urban policy (housing, land use, transportation, governance), demographics and intercity transport, a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.

Our Host

David Leis is VP for Development and Engagement with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. David was most recently Director of Communications and Donor Relations at MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) Canada. He has extensive experience in leading fundraising and development within higher education (Canadian Mennonite University and Red River College), the non-profit sector, and the business world (MNP, Brock Solutions, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce). He also has experience in the realm of municipal politics, having served as a councillor (Region of Waterloo) and mayor (Township of Woolwich).

David has a BA from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University, and a certificate in development from Ryerson University.

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