Task Force for Housing and Climate releases Blueprint for More and Better Housing

The Blueprint for More and Better Housing emphasizes the necessary efforts and action on housing and climate issues.

Photo credit: Task Force for Housing & Climate

With more action needed to meet Canada’s housing, affordability, and climate crisis, the Blueprint for More and Better Housing issues a request for more focused and collaborative efforts on housing and climate.

The Blueprint for More and Better Housing provides governments with recommendations and practical policy actions. It offers a total of ten recommendations across all orders of government, supported by 50 specific policy actions for the federal government, 50 specific policy actions for provincial governments, and 40 specific policy actions for municipal governments.

Among various important takeaways are some key “game-changers” which are policy moves that when coordinated across all orders of government, could transform Canada’s housing landscape and help deliver additional and better homes that Canadians deserve.

They include legalizing density, implementing better building codes, investing in factory-built housing and not building in high-risk areas.

The report highlights the urgency of the matter and calls for quick action. While governments across Canada have taken steps over the past months to address the housing crisis as well as a dangerous climate crisis, there is a long way to go. It also aims to guide the next steps while “inspiring greater ambition, greater coordination and greater innovation.”

Betsy Agar, director of the buildings program made the following statement in response to the Task Force for Housing and Climate’s release of the Blueprint for More and Better Housing.

“The Pembina Institute welcomes the Task Force for Housing and Climate’s recent report Blueprint for More and Better Housing. Through the report, the task force has identified critical measures necessary for addressing Canada’s interconnected crises of housing, affordability, and climate and reiterate the need for more integrated and collaborative policy action from all levels of government,” said Agar.

“The Task Force for Housing and Climate is a unique initiative bringing together experts and key actors across the housing, finance, and insurance industry, as well as Indigenous leaders and civil society. This level of diverse input and engagement offers invaluable insight into the varied methods through which the housing, affordability, and climate crisis can be addressed through concerted effort and a commitment to partnership and collaboration.”

Agar also noted that the Task Force calls for all levels of government to commit to enabling 5.8 million high performance homes to be built by 2030, including 2.3 million non- and below-market housing units.

“As part of this call, the report outlines methods for reaching these ambitious targets through increased density to fully utilize existing infrastructure and better building codes and to invest in innovation (such as factory-built housing). Taken together, the varied recommendations reinforce both the critical need for shared action and the opportunities present to advance necessary policy at the municipal, provincial, and federal level,” said Agar.

“Findings from Pembina’s Getting Canada’s Homes in Order report support the outcomes of this unique work. Notably, that governments must work together to implement regulations that ensure all Canadians have access to housing that is safe, healthy, climate-resilient, and affordable to heat and cool.”

Agar concluded by stating that the recommendations found in the Blueprint for More and Better Housing endorse critical approaches to housing development and offer a “clear, inclusive, and realistic path forward for all governments to meet increasingly pressing needs for swift and focused action.”

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