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Advocates push for more homes to be built in Saskatchewan

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WATCH: Over the past three years, houses for sale are few and far between across the province. Add in rising interest rates and inflation and housing prices have gone through the roof. But as Kayla Guerrette explains experts say there is a solution but its going to take everyone coming together to make it happen – Jul 7, 2022

Builders may be busy building new homes in Saskatoon, but the reality, realtors say, is that it’s not enough.

“We have a lack of inventory and our inventory keeps going down month after month for the past three years,” said Chris Guerette, Saskatchewan Realtors Association CEO.

Guerette said the lack of new homes available, along with growing interest rates and inflation, have made owning a home close to impossible for some.

The solution, she said, is not as complicated as people may think but lies in the hands of the province and communities within it.

Read more: Why affordable worker housing is the latest hurdle for Canada’s tourist town hotspots

“Most of the influence and the impact on housing happens at the municipal level and so what are we doing to both educate the municipalities and help them speed up that process?” said Guerette.

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Since 1990, Saskatchewan has built 96,000 homes in the province. But, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 100,000 homes would need to be built in the province by 2030 in order to make housing widely affordable.

It’s a goal Northridge Realty LTD broker Colleen Mah said is not realistic.

“We’ve never done it before,” said Mah. “At the height, we might be building 5,000 new units a year –which translates into 20 years, not eight years.”

Read more: Community-based home available for children in Beauval, Sask.

For Guerette, it’s where the Saskatchewan Housing Continuum Network hopes to help as the group takes a closer look at each city’s individual needs.

“And not just one solution its going to be multiprong,” said Guerette. “It’s going to be policies that allow anybody to build any kind of homes, anywhere, in any kind of capacity.”

Advocates said its time for elected officials in each municipality to bring this forward at the decision making table.

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