A paper released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, written by Marc Lee:



THIS PAPER DRAWS UPON THE LATEST DATA AND RESEARCH to examine skyrocketing housing costs in Metro Vancouver and their contribution to growing inequality. Most of the recent headlines focus on the spectacular increases in real estate prices. But there is also a serious crisis in the rental housing market, and completely inadequate housing for the most needy.

In short, the housing market is broken, and we need more rational planning and management of Vancouver’s housing in the interests of local people. This paper proposes a bold affordable housing solutions agenda, including an ambitious program of public re-investment in social and co-op housing, putting the brakes on absentee ownership, and progressive property taxation options.


A revealing chart from the chapter titled “Who are the winners and losers in the housing market?”

Marc 2

For homeowners, the key tax expenditures are the non-taxation of capital gains and imputed rental income from owner-occupied housing. It is estimated that 93 per cent of the total federal benefit of this expenditure is to homeowners, and 7 per cent to renters, for 2009, although this includes the temporary Home Renovation Tax Credit. If we remove the latter, the benefit is 75 per cent to homeowners. Estimates for the Ontario government were 95 per cent, and for the municipal government were 100 per cent, in favour of homeowners.