Housing prices are soaring, rent is up by 10% this year, leaving us all struggling. But who’s to blame, how do we solve it, and what do you say when so many people – including progressives – are blaming im/migrants?
A recent poll revealed that 63% of Canadians believe high immigration levels are impacting housing negatively . Why is this perception widespread, and what does it mean for the fight for status for all?
Housing and immigration were first linked by opinion writers in the mainstream media just this summer. They argued that Canada is bringing in too many im/migrants, quicker than the rate of construction. With fewer homes, prices and rent are rising.
The reality is very different:
- Permanent immigration growth is modest – equivalent to only 0.3% of the population increasing in the five years from 2018 to 2022.
- There is no connection between population growth and housing. Private developers aren’t building because despite the high prices and staggering rent, they don’t think it’s a “good enough investment”, that is, they want more profit .
- Rental prices are not driven by construction costs. As one of the speakers at our October 18 event, Ricardo Tranjan, writes, ‘Rents are determined by “what the market will bear”’ 
We know that cutting immigration won’t fix the housing crisis: In 2020, Canada closed its borders to almost everyone, but housing prices still went up.
But the underlying anti-immigrant sentiments have swayed even the federal housing minister who is considering changes to immigration levels .
Now is a crucial moment. Migrant-led groups, with your support, have made significant strides towards equal rights and protections. We’re on the verge of securing a groundbreaking regularization program for half a million undocumented people.
And as migration is tied to housing issues, the federal government, down in the polls, faces a choice: champion public housing and status for all or succumb to xenophobia and corporate interests. It’s up to us to demand housing and immigration justice.
Join us on October 18th for an urgent conversation. Register now for the Zoom link: MigrantRights.ca/Oct18
Unemployment, inflation, and unaffordability are rooted in the actions of the super-rich. They thrive when they divide us. Migrants and immigrants are not the housing crisis; we too are its victims, and only together can we win change.
Let us unite against racism, and for justice and equality for all of us.
Migrant Rights Network