Address Ontario’s Housing Affordability Crisis

Address Ontario’s Housing Affordability Crisis

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Nicole Tavares started this petition to Government of Ontario and

Over the past two decades housing prices in Canada have nearly quadrupled. This increase has vastly outpaced inflation and wage growth. (The Globe and Mail, March 1st 2021. The pandemic was supposed to cool Canada’s hot housing market. Instead it’s hotter than ever.”)

In Hamilton-Burlington the benchmark house price rose by $154,000 to $786,600 in 2020-2021, double the $75,464 median household income for the area. In Ottawa, prices jumped $102,000 in the same period compared to the median household income of $86,541. (HuffPost, Feb 18th 2021, “BMO: Your House Makes More Than You Do”)

In Kingston, house prices increase by nearly 25% between Sept 2019 and Sept 2020. (Global News, November 5th 2020, “Hot real estate market prompting ‘no condition’ offers in Kingston: real estate agents.”)

In January 2021, the average price for a detached home in Kitchener-Waterloo exceeded $800,000 in January 2021 for the first time ever. It surpassed $900,000 in February 2021. (The Record, March 4th 2021, “Average price for detached home in Kitchener and Waterloo tops $900,000 for first time — just a month after passing $800,000”)

In Toronto, the median household income is $78,378. Only those making over $178,499 per year can afford a “representative home” and those making $124,335 per year can afford a “representative condo”. (National Bank of Canada, Feb 3rd 2021, Housing Affordability Monitor)

A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the Trudeau government is “closely monitoring the health and stability of the housing market.” (BNN Bloomberg, March 5th 2021, “Speculators Distorting the Canadian Housing Market, Economists Warn.”) House prices are already a problem that needs to be solved, not watched.

Doug Ford’s government has acknowledged that there is a housing crisis, but has not done anything to successfully lower house prices and they continue to climb at record rates.

For thousands of Canadians and Ontarians, house prices need to go down. This is a crisis that is having devastating long-term impacts on our society. It is already disenfranchising an entire generation of young people, decreasing business investment, and decreasing social mobility.

This is a large and complex issue that requires many solutions, not just one. We need a government that will search for and implement effective policy.

We call on all members of the federal government and the government of Ontario to take this crisis seriously. We need to see governments that acknowledge this issue, debate policy, and enact measures to address housing affordability.

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