The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has today released Housing Affordability and the Standard of Living in Regina, a new report authored by Wendell Cox, a senior fellow with the Frontier Centre.
Mr Cox is an expert in land use and transportation policy and the co-author of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which has examined metropolitan areas in Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States since 2004.
In this report, Mr Cox draws on evidence from the Demographia survey, and his knowledge of the role of housing affordability in poverty reduction, to make recommendations for Regina to address the severe deterioration in housing affordability that has occurred in the city since 2006.
The report finds that the use of staged development of new land in Regina can drive prices of land and houses higher by creating a virtual urban growth boundary if sufficient new land to meet demand is not permitted.
It also recommends that the city council restore policies that allowed for less expensive detached housing, establish and monitor housing affordability standards and implement various infrastructure finance options to improve housing affordability.
“Housing costs are the largest element of household budgets, so rising house prices can have a significant impact on the standard of living of the population – particularly for lower income households,” said Mr Cox.
Saskatchewan has had the greatest increase in household income of all Canadian provinces over the last five years, but housing prices have increased even faster.
Municipal government policies can have real and significant impacts on housing affordability and on the public’s standard of living.
“Municipal governments should commit to housing affordability as the first principle of urban planning to bring house prices back under control, and improve the standard of living for everyone in Regina,” Mr Cox concluded.
About the author:
Wendell Cox is principal of Wendell Cox Consultancy (Demographia), a St. Louis (Missouri-Illinois) based international public policy firm. He is an expert in land use and transportation policy and is co-author of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which has examined metropolitan areas in Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States since 2004 and will cover 10 nations in its 10th edition (2014). The Survey is sponsored in Canada by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
He has written and spoken widely on the role of housing affordability in the standard of living and poverty reduction, including national speaking tours of Australia and numerous international presentations.
He is author of War on the Dream: How Anti-Sprawl Policy Threatens the Quality of Life, and a co-author with Richard Vedder of The Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big-Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy. In addition to these books, he has been a frequent book chapter contributor and is also author of a regular column in newgeography.com.
Wendell Cox is also author of the widely cited Demographia World Urban Areas, which is the only compendium of population, land area and population density for all known urban areas (population centres) in the world of 500,000 or more population.
He served nine years as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers, a Paris university and holds a BA in Government from California State University, Los Angeles and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles. Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him to three terms on the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, which was the top policy body in both highways and transit in the largest county in the United States. He was also appointed by Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich to fulfill the unexpired term of New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman.
Wendell Cox is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.