The economic benefits of social housing


As City Council’s Downtown Liaison, I speak with Victoria business owners frequently. 

They recognize the need for more housing in Victoria, and especially more affordable housing – both for workers and for their customer bases.

Deloitte recently crunched the numbers on this. 

They released a report outlining the significant productivity and GDP gains from social housing (aka community housing): housing cooperatives, non-profit housing, public housing, and other below-market housing.

Here is how they put it:

“The relationship between productivity and community housing is not only statistically significant, but also substantial in magnitude and robust in multiple approaches and specifications. Our analysis shows that to increase the share of community housing units from its current level to the OECD average of 7% by 2030 will require adding 371,600 community housing units. A larger share of community housing stock will improve our productivity and boost GDP by $110 billion to $179 billion in 2030. Considering the opportunity cost of shifting new housing construction from more expensive private dwelling to community housing units, the additional units of community housing would contribute between $67 to $136 billion to GDP by 2030. If housing construction does not shift to community housing as outlined in this scenario, these gains will not be realized.”

Seems pretty clear to me. Governments need to invest in more community housing. On Friday I will be publish a motion at City Council advocating for just that.