Saskatchewan in need of nearly 142,000 new homes by 2030

With the population in Saskatchewan projected to hit 1.4 million by 2030, more and more housing will be needed in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

More than 141,000 houses will need to be built in the next eight years to meet the projected population increase in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Housing Continuum Network announced the projected total of 141,500 homes would be needed by 2030, based off the per capita housing average from the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) as well as the current average of housing units in Saskatchewan.

“We wanted to quantify exactly what we require as a province to remain competitive and to ensure our growth is very well planned and that we can look into the future with some comfort,” said Saskatchewan Realtors Association CEO Chris Guérette.

“If we wanted to keep the same ratio as we have today, so the same amount of units per 1,000 people, and many would argue that isn’t sufficient, but if we were to maintain that, we would have to build 95,000 units.”

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And if the number seems like a lot, it seems even bigger when you look at the last 30 years in Saskatchewan.

“Over the past 30 years, we have built just over 98,000 units,” said Guérette. “So we have to squish in roughly the same amount of units in a period of eight years, which is significant for us.”

With inventory going down across the province, the continuum is concerned about the future of Saskatchewan housing, especially the costs.

“All the costs are going up, interest rates, etc.,” said Guérette. “There’s a lot of unknowns but at the end of the day, people are still going to need to live somewhere.”

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Tuesday’s announcement comes as the first step in ensuring the public and government know about this issue, and providing a goal they can strive to reach.

“What happens when we’re not ready for that growth is the prices will go up, affordability will erode, and then we’re not going to have that choice of housing and amenities individuals like when they shop for a home,” said Guérette. “It’s hard to find solutions when you don’t have a goal.”

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The next steps in the plan to reach 141,000 homes by 2030 are currently unknown, but the continuum said they are focusing on looking at policy changes that could help the situation.

“If this challenge does not become a major focus for policymakers across the province, maintaining our Saskatchewan advantage will become more and more challenging,” said Silvia Martini, Interim CEO of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. “Both provincial and local governments consequently need to act on issues that limit supply and artificially create upward price pressure.”

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