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PM Trudeau creates new cabinet position to tackle housing issues

·2 min read
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks next to Liberal candidate for York South-Weston, Ahmed Hussen, during  a Thanksgiving food drive in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 13, 2019. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
Ahmed Hussen becomes Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new cabinet (REUTERS)

The Liberal Party of Canada under Justin Trudeau has carved out a new role in cabinet to tackle housing.

Ahmed Hussen becomes Minister of Housing, along with Minister of Diversity and Inclusion, after previously serving as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Many are calling Canada's housing situation a crisis and it was a key election topic. Prices are up as much as 30 per cent or more in parts of the country. The Swiss bank UBS recently warned about housing bubbles in Canadian cities. According to a recent report from CIBC, parents are giving their kids huge gifts to purchase homes.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) applauded the move to appoint Hussen to the post.

"We are delighted that housing has been elevated in Cabinet. This is a recognition of the urgent nature of the housing crisis," said CREA in a statement.

"We have worked with Minister Hussen in the past, and look forward to continued collaboration with him in his new role."

Also See: The latest real estate news for housing prices, mortgage rates, markets, luxury properties and more at Yahoo Finance Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced criticism for not doing more about housing affordability during the election. The Liberals laid down several promises to make housing more affordable during the campaign. Among them is one that real estate associations have been asking for: increased supply. The Liberals say they would preserve or repair an additional 1.4 million homes in four years.

Other key components of the Liberal housing plan include helping Canadians buy their first home in a fairer, more open, and transparent way.

Paul Kershaw, UBC professor and founder of an advocacy group for young Canadians, Generation Squeeze, has called on governments to take action to ease housing affordability.

"The double-sided problems of housing unaffordability and housing wealth inequality have reached such high levels of unfairness that they absolutely merit being treated as a separate portfolio," Kershaw told Yahoo Finance Canada.

Jessy Bains is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jessysbains.

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