Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • Report looks at captured nature of BC’s Oil and Gas Commission August 6, 2019
    From an early stage, BC’s Oil and Gas Commission bore the hallmarks of a captured regulator. The very industry that the Commission was formed to regulate had a significant hand in its creation and, too often, the interests of the industry it regulates take precedence over the public interest. This report looks at the evolution […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Correcting the Record July 26, 2019
    Earlier this week Kris Sims and Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation wrote an opinion piece that was published in the Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Winnipeg Sun, Ottawa Sun and Toronto Sun. The opinion piece makes several false claims and connections regarding the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP), which we would like to correct. The […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Rental Wage in Canada July 18, 2019
    Our new report maps rental affordability in neighbourhoods across Canada by calculating the “rental wage,” which is the hourly wage needed to afford an average apartment without spending more than 30% of one’s earnings.  Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada July 9, 2019
    CCPA senior economist David Macdonald co-authored a new report, Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada­—released by Upstream Institute in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)—tracks child poverty rates using Census 2006, the 2011 National Household Survey and Census 2016. The report is available for […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Fossil-Power Top 50 launched July 3, 2019
    What do Suncor, Encana, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Fraser Institute and 46 other companies and organizations have in common? They are among the entities that make up the most influential fossil fuel industry players in Canada. Today, the Corporate Mapping Project (CMP) is drawing attention to these powerful corporations and organizations with the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Housing Policy Under Harper

Today I gave a presentation on Canadian housing policy at the annual conference of the European Network for Housing Research.  Points raised in the presentation include the following:

-Fiscal context, more so than which party has been in government, appears to have shaped federal housing policy in Canada over the past two decades.  Program expenses by the federal government (as a percentage of GDP) started decreasing steadily beginning in the mid-1990s and then increased steadily during the 2000s (up until the 2009-10 fiscal year).  Federal spending initiatives on housing have generally followed this trend; they were relatively non-existent during the mid- to late-1990s, began again in 2001, and then picked up steam over the course of the ensuing decade.

-Looking back over the past several decades, it is rather clear that the role of the federal government has been crucial in the provision of housing for low-income households.  When the federal government has led on that front, provinces and territories have followed (and housing has been built).  During periods where the federal government has been inactive in funding housing for low-income households, very little housing has been built.

-Canada’s “rate of social renting” (i.e. percentage of households that live in social housing) is significantly lower than in most OECD countries.  For example, the rate in both France and England is more than three times ours, and the rate in both Sweden and the Netherlands is more than six times ours.

-Though spending on housing has been higher under the Harper government than most observers would have ever predicted, it is important to be mindful of the looming issue of “expiring operating agreements.” Indeed, much of Canada’s social housing stock exists because of funding agreements that have been in place for several decades.  Typically, these agreements were to last anywhere from 35 to 50 years, and have involved commitments from senior levels of government to fund operating costs (including the ongoing cost of hydro and maintenance).  With much of Canada’s social housing having been built in the late 1960s, some of these agreements have already begun to expire; and many more agreements are set to expire over the next decade.  The Harper government has been quite silent on what (if anything) it plans to do about this emerging problem.

-Expiring operating agreements will hit Canada’s northern territories especially hard, due largely to the fact that operating costs for housing in northern jurisdictions are higher than in other parts of Canada.

My slide deck for the presentation can be found here and the conference paper (whose first author is Steve Pomeroy) can be found here.  The research is based on a chapter that will appear in the 2013-2014 edition of How Ottawa Spends, to be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Mike
Time: July 30, 2013, 12:24 am

I’m glad that someone is bring attention to the problem of not having enough low income housing available because it’s terrible, not enough is being done to help those that are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Without a doubt the federal government needs to be doing more, all one has to do is take a look at places like Labrador City, Montreal and then in the arctic such as Nunavut, N.W.T just to name a few places, I can go on and on. Winters are very cold and anyone at risk of being homeless is in a very dangerous situation because of the cold. Sometimes I don’t think the government understands the big picture that when you invest more to help the poor it ends up saving money in the end because if someone becomes homeless it’s going to mean getting sick much more often which means more trips to the doctor and often times a poor diet which also leads to poor health and that only ends up adding more to the healthcare system. There should also be some kind of strict rent control on a national level because some places have gone way out of control with sky high rents, just look at Toronto, Labrador City alone where even middle income people are having a hard time keeping up, just think of someone who is poor. You even some areas in the country that don’t even have a shelters for men, what happens to those if they are homeless when winter comes? I think the government can do better than this. Nobody likes being poor and nobody wants to be homeless with no place to call home. More needs to be done to help low income people and protect their human rights.

Write a comment





Related articles