Media Release – Needed: Freedom to Build—For the Homeless

Press Release, Housing Affordability, Frontier Centre


Winnipeg: The Frontier Centre for Public Policy today released a backgrounder on Canada’s homeless population. It examines the role of regulation in reducing the supply of low-cost housing. Freedom to Build, by researcher Fergus Hodgson notes that:
  • Approximately half of homeless individuals are employed, and even more are willing to work.
  • Canada’s cost of housing has greatly outpaced wage growth, so minimum wage and low- paying jobs are no longer sufficient to cover accommodation in Canada’s major cities.
  • Construction resources have been channeled away from low-cost housing by building codes, green belts, zoning ordinances, approval and consultation delays, and mandatory professional licensing.
  • Federal public housing assets are now more than a third of a trillion dollars, more than double what they were three years ago. Yet, the waiting list has grown even more rapidly and remains years long.
  • Numerous government programs and community initiatives have sought to address homelessness, but they have overlooked the restrained housing market, so they have proved ineffectual.
The study notes that the policy responses, while numerous, have not addressed the primary cause: the restrained supply of private housing, which for the last two decades has been a significant reason the homeless proportion of the population has grown so rapidly.
“Estimates vary on homelessness but that anyone is homeless in Canada is tragic” writes the study’s author, Fergus Hodgson. “Rather than address the symptom, homelessness, let us focus on the cause, a lack of housing, and do away with the numerous, cumbersome, shortsighted and destructive impediments to housing access.
Download a copy of the Freedom to Build here:
For more information and to arrange an interview with the study’s author, media (only) should contact:

Fergus Hodgson, 1-888-528-1216 ext. 3113
Gary Slywchuk
Troy Media Corporation