Our Crumbling Foundation

Alpine Books


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An urgent and illuminating examination of the unrelenting housing crisis Canadians find ourselves facing, by Balsillie Prize finalist and CBC Radio host Gregor Craigie, Our Crumbling Foundation offers real-life solutions from around the world and hope for new housing innovation in the face of seemingly impossible obstacles.

Canada is experiencing a housing shortage. Although house prices in major Canadian cities appear to have topped out in early 2023, new housing isn’t coming onto the market quickly enough. Rising interest rates have only tightened the pressure on buyers, and renters, too, as rising mortgage rates cost landlords more, which are passed along to tenants in rent increases. Even with the recent federal budget commitment to bring more housing online by 2030, there will still be a shortfall of 3.5 million homes by 2030.

Gregor Craigie is a CBC journalist in Victoria, one of the highest-priced housing markets in the country. On his daily radio show On The Island he's been talking for over 15 years to local experts and to those across the country about housing. Craigie has travelled to many of the places he profiles in the book, and in his interviews with Canadians he presents the human face of the shortfall as he speaks with renters, owners and homeless people, exploring their varying predicaments and perspectives. He then shows, through comparable profiles of people across the globe, how other North American and international jurisdictions (Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Helsinki, Singapore, Ireland, to name a few) are housing their citizens better, faster and with determination—solutions that could be put into practice here.

With passion, knowledge and vigour, Craigie explains how Canada reached this critical impasse and will convince those who may not yet recognize how badly our entire country is in need of change. Our Crumbling Foundation provides hope for finding our way out of the crisis by recommending a number of approaches at all levels of government. The prescription for how we’re going to house ourselves, and do so equitably, requires not just a business solution, nor simply a social solution, but rather a combination of both, working hand-in-hand with all levels of government, and quickly, in order to catch up with and outpace the needs of Canadians in this ever-intensifying crisis over a basic human right.