[URBAN NOTE] “Don’t scapegoat foreign buyers for unaffordability, says CMHC”
MacLean’s shares Laura Kane’s Canadian Press article which shares a warning about not housing crises to start tensions over immigration.
The president of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is warning against an “us versus them” mentality in Vancouver, where he says foreign buyers are not the major factor driving unaffordability.
Evan Siddall delivered a pointed speech on Wednesday to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, where he said housing should not become a wedge that divides newcomers from long-time residents.
“When a white person buys a house, we don’t notice. When somebody of a different colour does, we do. That’s not good economics,” he said.
Vancouver’s skyrocketing housing prices have increasingly been blamed on foreign capital flowing from China. The British Columbia government introduced a 15-per-cent tax on foreign buyers in July in response to those concerns.
Asked by reporters whether he believed racism was playing a role in the housing debate, Siddall said he wouldn’t use such a “strong term,” but the contrast between “us and them” was a factor.