On behalf of the “National Forum on Housing and the Economy”, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities released a statement of shared principles developed by the Forum.
Along with four other housing industry-related associations, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is pleased to have taken part in the deliberations of this Forum. CHBA welcomes in particular the emphasis in the resulting principles on:
- Support for young first-time home buyers;
- Impacts of government-imposed costs and regulations on affordability;
- Investment in purpose-built rental housing;
- Positive wider economic benefits of the housing industry, including skills training and technological innovation.
A noteworthy aspect of this shared statement is the call for “all orders of government [to] work together to examine and address the impact which existing government-imposed costs, and development, zoning and other policies and regulations have on overall housing affordability”.
In addition, the statement is forward-looking and addresses the future of social housing in Canada. It recognizes the need for innovation and new approaches for addressing the needs of lower-income Canadians. In particular, it rightly notes that attaching financial support to households, rather than to rental units, will increase their ability to move, either to address their changing circumstances or to pursue job opportunities. It also calls for all governments in Canada do their part in establishing the business climate for private sector investments in new purpose-built rental stock.
CHBA looks forward to further consultation with the federal government about how best to act on the principles adopted by the National Forum when developing public policy and initiatives.