Two-Thirds of Ontarians Support Government Action on Cost of Housing
Toronto – February 17, 2022
Newly-released public opinion polling conducted by Counsel Public Affairs spotlights widespread concern about the cost of housing in Ontario and a desire for bold government action.
The poll of 2,273 eligible Ontario voters was conducted from January 21 – 23, 2022. While previously-released data suggests Premier Doug Ford is on track to win a slim majority, key issues will continue to influence the political landscape prior to the upcoming provincial election on June 2nd. As revealed in Counsel’s key issues deep-dive, housing affordability is a top-five issue for Ontario voters across the political spectrum.
According to Counsel’s poll, 83% of Ontario voters are either very concerned or somewhat concerned about the cost of housing in their community. These high levels of concern are consistent across the province, reflecting the rapid housing cost increases experienced across Ontario during the pandemic. A staggering 82% of renters in Ontario believe they will never be able to afford a home.
While Ontario voters are evenly divided on whether the housing crisis is a supply or demand issue, two-thirds believe that the government should take action to limit increasing housing prices. Supported measures include:
- 63% support taxing gains on the sale of primary residences that exceed $1 million.
- 75% believe the government should require developers to build low-income housing whenever they build a new development.
- 88% support a foreign-owned vacancy tax.
Despite the need for action, most Ontario voters remain unwilling to compromise on environmental preservation: 73% believe that Ontario’s Greenbelt should remain protected from development.
“This data reveals that concern over housing affordability, and support for government intervention, is relatively consistent across geographical and political boundaries,” notes David Murray, Senior Consultant with Counsel Public Affairs. “With only 29% of Ontario voters indicating that they believe the Ford government has done a good job of addressing the issue, all parties can gain by promising action to mitigate the growing housing crisis.”
Of note, Ontario voters are less favourable towards actions intended to cool demand in the housing market, including 56% who would oppose the Government of Canada strengthening the mortgage stress test to raise the financial threshold required to buy a home.
The full summary of findings and analysis from Counsel’s poll can be found at counselpa.com/counsel-research.
Counsel Opinion Research
In the coming days, Counsel Public Affairs will release further polling data on additional issues of concern to Ontarians. Counsel Public Affairs is excited to add opinion research to its suite of services, including government relations and communications. In the lead-up to the June 2, 2022 Ontario General Election, Counsel Public Affairs will conduct additional polling to help you and your organization understand Ontario’s ever-changing political landscape.
Counsel surveyed 2,273 people over the period of January 21 – January 23, 2022, using the Lucid Exchange Platform, which blends a variety of partner panels. The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.1 percent, 19 times out of 20. Results were sub-regionally weighted to the 2016 Census for age, birth sex, and education, along with 2018 provincial vote.