Canada needs to build 5.8 million homes in 10 years
August 29, 2023
Canada, encouraged by housing experts and the non-profit sector, needs to build 5.8 million homes over the next decade, including 2.2 million dedicated rental units, according to an August 15, 2023, report by the Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC) and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
The two groups organized a roundtable of experts to map out a strategy to match housing demand and rising immigration with housing supply.
“It's an enormous mountain to climb, given that we've only built 570,000 units of rental housing in the last 30 years. We are talking about tripling—almost quadrupling—in seven years what we've built in the last 30 years,” said Michael Brooks, CEO of REALPAC, an association of executives in Canadian commercial real estate.
To boost these numbers, the roundtable report suggests the federal government address bottlenecks such as a lack of coordination, labour issues, high costs, inability to get timely approvals, and the insufficient construction of non-market housing among other issues.
The report also recommends the feds reform Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s fees and the federal tax system.
Catch-up construction would need to begin immediately to reach the starts needed. Total Canadian housing starts came in at a pace of 255,000 annual units in July 2023—down 10 per cent from a month earlier. At this level it would take more than 20 years to deliver 5.8 million new homes.