Roundtable on Housing Affordability and Accessibility with Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland and CREA CEO, Michael Bourque

On June 15, leaders and key stakeholders from the Canadian real estate and housing industries sat down with the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, at a virtual roundtable discussion.

Among the participants at the table, were representatives from Habitat for Humanity Canada, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Mortgage Professionals Canada, and our own CREA CEO, Michael Bourque. In this discussion both Deputy Prime Minister Freeland and Minister Hussen reaffirmed the Canadian government’s commitments to affordable living for all and specifically acknowledged housing affordability will remain a key economic and social objective.

Participants spoke of the need to increase supply across the spectrum, from non-profit to market-based housing, for first-time buyers and families. They also recognized the importance and wide-reaching scope of Canada’s National Housing Strategy as it attempts to cut down chronic homelessness, and the recent success of programs like the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI).

Significantly, there was also a meaningful discussion on the importance of housing policy and investments to address concerns around affordability for vulnerable populations as well as those in Canada’s middle-class. The need for modernized regulations to support the expedient development of affordable housing and facilitate sustainable solutions for increasing supply, including urban densification was prominent among those concerns. As was the importance of public infrastructure in building and maintaining healthy and affordable communities.

It was acknowledged that provinces, territories, and municipalities need to work together to address the growing imbalance between housing supply and demand to achieve the ultimate goal of true affordability. CREA and REALTORS® have long advocated for a supply-first approach, especially in recent years, and the federal government has taken note.

Conversations like these are a regular part of CREA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of REALTORS® and their clients, and will continue to remain a priority.