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Old Posted Jun 15, 2020, 4:37 PM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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Liberals look at buying distressed buildings to save stock of affordable housing
(Canadian Press, Jordan Press, June 14 2020)

OTTAWA — A new analysis of the country’s stock of affordable housing suggests the Liberals’ decade-long strategy to provide more of it is starting in a deeper hole than previously thought, and may be further behind once the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

But the pandemic could also mean an opportunity for governments to pick up rental units cheaply.

Carleton University researcher Steve Pomeroy, whom housing groups and governments both rely on for advice, found a decline of 322,600 affordable rental units in the private market between 2011 and 2016.

Over the same period, federal and provincial investments in affordable housing created about 20,000 affordable units, meaning that for every new unit governments created, 15 were lost.

What that means is the Liberals’ national housing strategy and its plans to create 150,000 affordable units over a 10-year stretch would only be replacing about half of what had just been lost.

The new concern is that the situation will repeat following the current economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, as tenants’ problems paying rents put a squeeze on small landlords and their assets are scooped up by larger real-estate funds with little interest in keeping them affordable.

It’s why the federal government is now considering purchasing those assets as part of the next phase of the government’s response to the pandemic.



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