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Liberals have options to help millennials buy homes; would be a vote winner, too

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau takes part in a Canada 2020 panel discussion in Ottawa on December 13, 2018. The Trudeau government has options, experts say, as it looks for ways to help more millennials enter the Canadian housing market in an era of pricey real estate and rising borrowing costs. The federal effort also makes political sense with an election less than a year away -- making home purchases more affordable for younger Canadians is seen by some experts as a vote winner for this increasingly critical demographic. On Tuesday, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Ottawa is exploring measures to put home ownership within reach for more millennials, a generation made of people who are now in their mid-20s to late-30s. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Housing experts say Ottawa has several options as it looks for ways to help more millennials enter the Canadian housing market in an era of pricey real estate and rising borrowing costs.

University of British Columbia associate professor Paul Kershaw says there’s no silver bullet to making real estate more affordable for younger people but boosting the permanently affordable supply of housing could help.

He says so could limiting zoning rules that encourage lower-density neighbourhoods.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said this week Ottawa is exploring measures to put home ownership within reach for more millennials, a generation made up of people who are now in their mid-20s to late-30s.

He says real-estate affordability is a big challenge for millennials and has been one of the Liberals’ top housing concerns since they came to power in 2015.

He hasn’t elaborated on what options he is considering but experts say a millennials housing policy could be a vote winner in next fall’s federal election among this increasingly critical demographic.

The Canadian Press