The growing issue of unaffordable housing

Stephanie continues to hear from constituents who are unable to afford to purchase a home, along with those who can no longer afford their mortgage or rent payments.

The August 2023 Rent Report ( shows that rents continue to rise in nearly every major market across the country with no sign of letting up. Nationally, rents are up almost nine per cent in the last year with an increase of 1.8% in just the last month. In the last two years, average rents in Canada have shot up 21%. This amounts to an extra $354 per month or an extra $4248 each year.

However, many of Canada’s cities – including Calgary* – are seeing increases substantially greater than the average. In fact, a July report from confirms that Calgary “maintained the top spot for fastest rent growth among Canada’s largest markets with average asking rents up to 16.1% annually.” In fact, after eight years of Justin Trudeau the average rent in Canada has doubled and according to now sits at $2078.

It isn’t just renters that are hurting. Since 2015 the average monthly mortgage payment has increased 137%, while the minimum down payment for the average home has increased 126%, raising the barriers for any renter who wants to achieve the dream of home ownership.

Experts are warning of a growing crisis, including the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. A recent FCAC report states that nearly half of mortgage holders are going deeper in debt to keep up home loan payments after ten interest rate hikes. This will only get worse as the Bank of Canada plans to increase interest rates into 2024 and more mortgages will come up for renewable. Variable rate mortgage are the most vulnerable for default upon renewal.

After years of telling Canadians that he was going to make homes more affordable – including a 2015 campaign promise – Justin Trudeau recently tried to float a claim that housing is not his responsibility. However, thanks to immediate pushback by Canadians, shortly after, he reversed that message again by stating that it would be a top focus of the Liberal summer caucus retreat in PEI. And his subsequent rushed announcement in London, Ontario that his government is “taking action”, was merely a recycling of funds committed in last year’s budget to accelerate housing builds – which has yet to actually build a single home.

Before Trudeau, it took 25 years to pay off a mortgage – now, it takes 25 years just to save up for a downpayment. This is happening because Justin Trudeau subsidizes government gatekeepers and red tape that prevents builders from getting shovels in the ground and our people into homes they can afford.

For example, a recent CD Howe study determined that, in Vancouver, nearly $1.3 million of the cost of an average home is government gatekeepers adding unnecessary red tape. That means that over 60 percent of the price of a home in Vancouver is due to delays, fees, regulations, taxes, and high-priced consultants.

In Calgary, that percent is almost 40.

The Trudeau government isn’t just protecting these gatekeepers; they are funding them with your hard-earned tax dollars.  He pays each member of the Executive Committee $700,00 a year to make housing less affordable for Canadians. In fact, as housing prices have doubled, the number of CMHC staffers taking six-figure annual salaries has grown by 27 percent.

In comparison, Stephanie and her Conservative colleagues have been working to bring attention to the problem for months. In addition to holding a local roundtable on affordability in May 2022, she has questioned the Liberal government about their lack of action on many occasions. Some of her most recent interventions are available at:

And, the Leader of the Official Opposition has tabled a plan to address some of the biggest issues around housing availability and affordability in Canada.

The Building Homes Not Bureaucracy Act (C-356) will require cities to build more homes and speed up the rate at which they build homes every year to meet our housing targets. Cities must increase the number of houses built by 15% each year, and then 15% on top of the previous target every single year (it compounds). If targets are missed, cities will have to catch up in the following years and build even more homes, or a percentage of their federal funding will be withheld, equivalent to the percentage they missed their target by.

Cities that exceed that target will get bonus funding; cities that miss it will have their funding reduced.

The Act also requires that federal transit funding provided to certain cities won’t arrive until those stations are surrounded by high-density residential buildings.

C-356 will impose a penalty on big city gatekeepers for egregious cases of NIMBYism and will empower Canadians to file complaints about NIMBYism with the federal infrastructure department. When complaints are legitimate, we will withhold infrastructure and transit dollars until municipalities allow homes to be built.

It ensures that CMHC executives cannot receive bonuses unless housing targets are met, and applications for new construction are approved within 60 days.

In addition, the Act provides a 100% GST rebate on new residential rental property for which the average rent payable is below market rate. This will be funded using dollars from the failed Liberal Housing Accelerator fund.

This bill also requires the Minister of Housing to report on the inventory of federal buildings and land, to identify land suitable for housing construction and to propose a plan to sell at least 15 percent of any federal buildings and all land that would be appropriate for housing construction and for him to place these properties on the market within eighteen months.

These are common-sense solutions that will address the housing crisis Justin Trudeau has created in this country and Conservatives will look to the other parties in the House to support the legislation.

*Unlike BC and ON, AB does not have legislation regulating the maximum amount rents can be increased annually. British Columbia ties their annual numbers to inflation, while Ontario bases it on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.