Canadian housing market can learn from European models

Comparative research exploring housing policy and the housing system performance in Europe by University of Calgary Faculty of Environmental Design Professor Dr. Sasha Tsenkova offers valuable lessons to the Canadian housing market.


“The research results are particularly relevant today in the context of a global crisis triggered by subprime mortgage lending and the lack of adequate housing policies and regulation,” said Tsenkova.


Tsenkova’s research, which led to the publication of the book Housing Policy Reforms in Post-Socialist Europe by Springer: Heildelberg/New York, concluded that if well regulated and transparent, the housing sector could be a driving force for development producing social, economic and environmental benefits.


“If properly managed, the sector could steer economic recovery towards more sustainable economic systems and healthier production and consumption behaviours,” said Tsenkova.


According to Tsenkova, the implementation of adequate housing policy in Canada would ensure more efficient market performance, balanced choices between renting and owning and effective housing assistance for the poor and disadvantaged.


“Housing markets underpin every industrialized economy,” said Tsenkova. “Addressing urgent institutional challenges could shorten the recovery time and establish frameworks leading to more sustainable economic systems.”


Tsenkova’s multi-year research project, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Council of Europe and the Killam Resident Fellowship, explored housing reforms, housing systems and housing policies in several European countries. Her successful research also influenced policy dialogue and led to the practical implementation of affordable housing projects in several countries.


Due to the success of her project, Tsenkova has been granted with additional funding from SSHRC to explore new models of social housing provision in Europe focusing on policy and planning innovation.