While far from a failure, Canada's housing system is falling short on too many fronts. Housing assets are very unequally distributed, and contribute to a disturbingly high level of overall wealth inequality. We face serious and growing affordability problems in an increasingly unequal society, and potentially serious generational and racial divides in terms of access to housing. These problems are relatively concentrated in big cities, where almost all population growth is now taking place, where new immigration is concentrated, where housing costs are highest, and where labour markets are most polarized.
This book provides an over-arching economic and social policy framework which shows how centrally important housing is to the well being of all Canadians. It makes a compelling case for why public policy interventions by all levels of government are needed to keep affordable home ownership a continuing option for most Canadians; to support affordable rental housing; to deal with special housing needs; and to create diverse, supportive, mixed income communities.