Housing? A monster issue, with blame to go around.

Here’s what we know about the hottest issue in Canadian politics today:

  • Two out of three people say housing affordability is a “crisis”, and an additional 31% say it’s a challenge. Most Liberal voters (59%) agree it is a crisis. But it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. While it has been a personal problem for half the population, rising housing prices has been a personal benefit for 17%, has been both good and bad for 10%, and 23% say it has not really affected them.
  • Among those under 30, 68% say it has been a personal problem, 18 points above average.
  • Most (61%) feel “Canada should reduce the amount of immigration to Canada unless we can build more houses more quickly”, while 39% take the view “we need more immigration both to help grow our economy and to help provide the labour to build more houses”.
  • A majority of Conservative (74%) voters are inclined to want to taper immigration, and almost half (45%) of Liberal voters think that might make sense too.
  • Half (49%) say the challenge of housing affordability is “mostly the fault of the Trudeau government” and half (51%) say, “it is mostly caused by policies at the local or provincial levels of government”.
  • Among those under 30, half blame Ottawa. Among Liberal voters, 19% say the fault lies mostly with the federal government.

What’s it mean?

Housing costs are a pain point for about 15 million potential voters. Especially for young people. While public opinion is generally aligned with the idea of growing our population through immigration, when people wonder how to solve the “too few houses” problem, many are open to the argument that limiting immigration is an idea to consider. That doesn’t imply that they are anti-immigrant, but that they are looking for housing cost relief ideas, and presumably will welcome a better one: where more homes are built quickly enough to allow our immigration growth policy to remain intact.

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