Experts have roundly criticized BC Premier Christy Clark’s recent home ownership grant policy. A key part of the negative reaction has been based on fears that interest free grants will increase housing prices and drive a further wedge between incomes and housing costs, a divide already plaguing the Vancouver and lower mainland markets.
On September 22 and 23, the Broadbent Institute hosted Progress Summit BC to chart a progressive path forward for the province in this critical election year. In the panel entitled 'Retrieving affordability: progressive policy solutions for BC’s housing crisis' panelists were asked to outline what practical, progressive, policies can ensure future generations of lower and middle-income British Columbians can live and thrive in their cities. A summary of their remarks are outlined below.Read more
Inequality is a major theme of current research in economics throughout the world. The now-famous Capital by Thomas Piketty released in English in 2014 is a case in point. It is also a major focal point in Canada, as illustrated by the book Income Inequality: The Canadian Story published recently by the Institute for Research on Public Policy and in the ongoing work of the Broadbent Institute and other groups.Read more
Christensen, Davison & Levac: Chronic housing needs in the Canadian North: Inequality of opportunity in northern communities
The Canadian North, which includes the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, Labrador, and Nunatsiavut, is a vast region rich in Indigenous cultures, pristine landscapes and waterways, natural resources, and increasingly diverse communities. It is also a region known for having the highest rates of chronic housing need in Canada. Across the North, where more than half the population is Inuit (including Inuvialuit), First Nations (including Innu), or Métis, there is chronic housing need (lack of affordability, inadequacy, unsuitability, unavailability) and lower rates of home ownership than in the southern provinces. The 2006 census found home ownership in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to be 22.7 and 52.9 per cent, respectively, compared to 71 per cent in Ontario or 73 per cent in Alberta. In most small, northern communities in Canada, social housing is the main, if not only, option, with very few opportunities for home ownership. Limited opportunities for home ownership are compounded by the high rates of unemployment in many small, northern settlements.Read more