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LETTER: Federal government sparked housing crisis with high immigration rates

The construction industry can't keep up with the needed supply of housing, so prices soar, letter writer says

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RE: 'We can't build our way out of this:' Housing crisis can't be solved just by increasing supply, advocates say, Feb. 14, 2022 

The term "affordable housing crisis" is used a great deal these days.

There was a time when the term was seldom heard. So what has changed?

Consider: The population of London, Ontario is around 400,000. When the current prime minister took office in 2015, immigration levels to Canada were at 250,000 per year. Now the immigration target is 420,000 people per year.

That means that the construction industry in Canada must build the equivalent of a city the size of London, Ontario every year to house all of these newcomers.

When the immigration targets were arbitrarily raised, did the federal government do any research to determine if Canada's construction industry could build enough new housing to keep up with the number of newcomers? Judging by the daily coverage of this subject in the news, the answer is likely no, there was no research and no, Canada's construction industry can't build 420,000 people worth of new housing a year.

Yet, a drive around the GTA reveals endless new housing developments being built. But it is still not enough.

And why is the housing that is available not affordable?

While immigration rates are subject to the random whims of the federal government, housing prices are subject to the laws of supply and demand.

The federal government creates the unrealistic demand with high immigration rates, but the construction industry cannot keep up with the supply, so prices soar.

Rather than address the root cause of the problem, which is created by the government, the government whips up plans to build affordable housing that usually involves taxpayer dollars.

If the government wishes to continue with the endless population growth policy, perhaps immigration to Canada should be restricted to architects, civil engineers, carpenters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers and construction workers until we catch up.

Mike Murphy, Newmarket