Resilient cities need affordable housing

In a new report, The Federation of Canadian Municipalities urges all levels of government to increase the availability of affordable rental housing in Canada’s cities.

From the report, No Vacancy: Rental Housing Trends in Canada[pdf]:

Canadians and their governments can no longer rely on homeownership alone to meet housing needs. The fundamentals that supported growth in home ownership—declining mortgage rates, extended mortgage terms, low down payments, and a strong economic outlook—have ended…

Beyond the immediate economic benefits of increased rental construction and related employment spin-offs, a healthy rental market will support a more mobile workforce and give young families, new immigrants, and seniors higher-quality, lower-cost rental options.

The FCM warns that unaffordable housing threatens Canada’s economic recovery. I add to this warning by noting that over-priced, under-supplied housing threatens our ability to respond to environmental and economic change and means people make less-sustainable housing choices. People must urgently relocate to denser cities in safer places, but a lack of affordable housing in our cities complicates this.

Creating resilient cities that can endure to the 22nd century requires an adequate supply of affordable housing. Governments should immediately reallocate attention and public funds to support this.