Urban Containment Policy and Housing Affordability

Research Paper, Housing Affordability, Wendell Cox

The city of Ottawa is updating its Official Plan. Under consideration are expanding the urban boundary (urban growth boundary) and strengthening of its intensification (densification)policy. These strategies are components of urban containment policy. This report examines the relationship between urban containment policy and housing affordability from an international perspective. For the purposes of this report, urban containment policy includes growth management, compact city policy, intensification and any measures that can materially impact the cost of land or housing by rationing or prohibiting greenfield land development (such as urban growth boundaries and intensification mandates).

WINNIPEG, MB, February 15, 2021 – The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has just released Urban Containment Policy and Housing Affordability by Wendell Cox, a senior fellow with the Frontier Centre. This report examines the relationship between urban containment policy and housing affordability.

In the past two decades there has been growing concern about the deterioration in housing affordability across Canada. From 2000 to 2015, average house prices had risen three times that of before-tax average household incomes. This issue is not isolated to Canada; there has been a significant decline in housing affordability in several countries including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Urban containment policy has been strongly associated with higher house prices relative to incomes. This report also highlights the indirect consequences associated with urban containment, such as higher poverty rates and stunted economic growth. 

To read this insightful paper, visit the Frontier Centre for Public Policy website: www.fcpp.org or CLICK HERE.

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is an independent, non-profit organization that undertakes research and education in support of economic growth and social outcomes that will enhance the quality of life in our communities. Through a variety of publications and public forums, the Centre explores policy innovations required to make the prairies region a winner in the open economy. It also provides new insights into solving important issues facing our cities, towns and provinces. These include improving the performance of public expenditures in important areas such as local government, education, health and social policy. The author of this study has worked independently and the opinions expressed are therefore their own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact:

Frontier Centre for Public Policy

203 – 2727 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3J 0R2

204-957-1567

manitoba@fcpp.org

www.fcpp.org