Canadians give Justin Trudeau low marks on housing affordability: poll

Houses for sale in Ottawa

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Two in three Canadians say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is doing a poor job of introducing policies to make housing affordable, according to a new poll.

The survey by Nanos Research for Bloomberg News suggests a flurry of announcements from Trudeau’s Liberals in the past six months haven’t resonated yet with Canadians, who are struggling with rental inflation at a 40-year high and ballooning mortgage interest costs.

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Trudeau appointed a new housing minister, Sean Fraser, in July amid sagging poll numbers. Since then, the government has unveiled hundreds of millions of dollars for cities to speed up building dense housing, cut the federal sales tax on new rental construction and introduced new measures to discourage short-term rentals such as those provided on Airbnb Inc.

Trudeau low marks housing

“The fact that only two per cent score the Liberal housing initiatives as very good and another six per cent good indicates there are few that have confidence in these policies to make housing more affordable,” pollster Nik Nanos said.

Residents of Ontario and the western provinces were more likely to say that the Trudeau government was doing a poor or very poor job on housing affordability than Atlantic Canada or Quebec. Those under 55 were also more likely to give the Liberals poor marks than older Canadians.

Nanos also asked respondents to rank solutions that would make housing more affordable. More than a quarter said building more public housing was the most important solution, while about 17 per cent each put reducing immigration and cutting mortgage rates at the top of the list.

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