Senate committee makes recommendations to improve housing affordability for Canadians

The recommendations featured in the report summarize expert evidence to provide a foundation for action required to address the cost and scarcity of housing in Canada.

The Senate committee recently made several recommendations in an interim report in hopes of improving the housing affordability crisis in Canada.

The report, called Needed: An Innovation Strategy for the Data-Driven Economy, summarizes expert evidence to provide a foundation for action required to address the cost and scarcity of housing in Canada. As a result, the Senate committee said in the report that the federal government should strengthen consumer mortgage protections, improve programs that increase productivity in the construction sector and “beef up” the supply of skilled workers to address Canada’s housing affordability crisis.

The report also noted that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimates the rate of housing production will have to more than triple to meet its affordability target by 2030.

The report makes recomendations which include accelerating the implementaiton of a globally competitive intellectual property regime, establishing a national data strategy and digital standards, unleashing new streams of capital, modernizing government procurement policies, and urgently updating federal framework legislation for usage of data, privacy, and competition.

“Canada is failing to address the housing crisis. We need to accelerate the supply of homes across the country — immediately. Canadians are counting on the federal government to make that happen,” said senator Pamela Wallin, chair of the committee.

“We need to boost innovation in the housing sector and address the important challenge of labour shortages in the construction sector. To that end, the government should establish a permanent roundtable of stakeholder groups, including provincial representatives, to slash regulatory and administrative barriers,” said senator Diane Bellemare, member of the subcommittee on agenda and procedure.

While some reccomendations in the report have already been acknowledged in the government’s 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the committee is calling on federal policymakers to consider the recommendations in full ahead of the 2024 federal budget.

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