Editorial, Globe and Mail:
In Vancouver, where rents and home prices are among the highest in Canada, the issue of affordability has long been top of mind among politicians. Among other things, the city has cracked down on speculators by taxing empty properties, and it is allowing duplexes to be built in areas zoned for detached housing only. These measures, and the affordability question in general, will be decisive issues in the Vancouver civic election on Oct. 20.
In Toronto, affordability is not a major factor in the municipal election on Oct. 22, even though the city’s crisis is arguably worse than that of Vancouver. It’s a mistake for Toronto politicians to see the issue as anything less than a top priority. The affordability crisis is real and pressing. Almost half the city’s households live in rental units, and half of those are spending more than 30 per cent of their net income on rent – the widely accepted standard for affordability.