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Housing and affordability top issues for Vancouver voters in 2021 federal election: poll

Surprise, surprise. 🏡 💸
Housing and affordability are top of mind for Vancouver voters in the 2021 Canadian federal election, according to a V.I.A. poll

Not surprisingly, in a city that routinely tops lists of most unaffordable Canadian or global cities, the issue of housing and affordability are key driving forces for Vancouver voters in the 2021 federal election.

We polled V.I.A. readers ahead of the Sept. 20 Canadian election day to find out which of several prominent issues was primary in determining how they cast their ballot.

Of the 400 locals who responded, 33.5% cited housing and affordability as being the top issue.

The second-most pressing issue for Vancouver voters according to the V.I.A. poll is environment and climate change, at 23.75% of the vote, with pandemic response and spending third with 20.25% of the vote.

What is affordable housing and where do the parties stand?

Affordable housing is defined as housing that costs less than 30 per cent of a household’s income before taxes, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Company (CMHC). This definition includes rental housing, ownership, temporary, and permanent housing.

Recent data from the Canadian Rental Housing Index shows that 40 per cent of households across Canada spend over the CMHC’s threshold on housing. Even so, 20 per cent of households spend over 50 per cent of their income on housing. 

As housing prices continue to increase, despite inflation and income gaps in the country, the three major political Parties - Liberal, Conservative, and NDP - have proposed solutions for ensuring affordable housing for all Canadians. All three parties promise more overall supply of housing, however, each party varies when it comes to plans for increasing supply specifically for public housing. 

Additionally, the three major parties have policies to expand access to mortgages or increase tax credits for home ownership. Both the Liberals and Conservatives also promised to ban foreign investors from purchasing homes over the next two years, while the NDP proposed a 20 per cent foreign buyers tax. 

“It's encouraging to see that all parties feel they need to give significant attention to the housing crisis in a way that we haven't seen in past federal elections," says Alex Hemingway, a senior economist and policy analyst at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 

Poll results

Vancouver Is Awesome polled 879 readers and asked the question: What is the most important issue driving your vote in the current federal election?

The poll ran from 9/14/2021 to 9/20/2021. Of the 879 votes, we can determine that 400 are from within the community. The full results are as follows:

Environment / Climate change 23.75 % local, 23.44 % total    
Housing and affordability 33.50 % local, 30.15 % total    
Pandemic response / spending 20.25 % local, 21.50 % total    
Childcare 0.75 % local, 0.91 % total    
Reconciliation / Indigenous issues 3.50 % local, 4.10 % total    
Other 18.25 % local, 19.91 % total    
  Local   Total

This result provides for a 95% confidence level +/- % margin of error in the local community.

Vancouver Is Awesome uses a variety of techniques to capture data, detect and prevent fraudulent votes, detect and prevent robots, and filter out non-local and duplicate votes.

Find more V.I.A. polls to take HERE.

With files from Carol Eugene Park

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