Ahmed Hussen became Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion of Canada in Oct. 2021, but Canada’s housing crisis has only worsened since – and housing analysts believe Hussen’s policies are to blame. 

According to the owner of Toronto-based Butler Mortgage, the plain and simple explanation is Hussein’s inept and working in the wrong government post.

“Hussen is incompetent and he believes he’s there to do theatre. He should resign,” Ron Butler told True North. “There’s been absolutely zero progress made by him.”

The 2022 budget introduced the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account that’s intended to help first-time homebuyers save as much as $40,000 through an RRSP-style account. It would function like a TFSA by making contributions tax-deductible and protecting home purchase withdrawals from taxation.

However, Butler questions what good $40,000 is in a runaway price environment.

“It’s nice in theory,” Butler said, “but if the price of a house goes up 40, 50 or $60,000 in a year, how in the name of Jesus will that help? It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

The government is launching the Housing Accelerator Fund this summer, which the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation defines as providing “incentive funding to local governments encouraging initiatives aimed at increasing housing supply.”

It is also intended to support creation of “low-carbon, climate-resilient communities that are affordable, inclusive, equitable and diverse.”

Butler sees it another way.

“They are putting together billions of dollars to bribe municipalities across Canada to reduce red tape,” he said. “It is not anything to do with a direct credit to the first-time homebuyer—so in other words, anything that would help reduce the cost.”

Richard Dias, co-host of The Loonie Hour, a podcast exploring the macroeconomic impact domestic and international events have on Canada, says Hussen is failing by every objective standard because none of his policies have tapered exorbitant housing prices.

“Literally by every objective standard, his housing policies have been a failure,” Dias said, adding that record immigration also plays a role.

“He’s clearly failing.”

It’s not just Hussen who’s getting the blame for the condition of Canada’s housing market. The finger is also being pointed at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Even before Hussen’s became housing minister, the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive —an equity stake program in which the government contributes towards down payments with 5% on a resale home and up to 10% on a new build, eventually recouping the investments at their appreciated values—introduced in the 2019 federal budget fell flat on its face.

The government expected 100,000 homebuyers would use it in its first two years but, three years in, only 16,000 Canadians took advantage of it.

The reason, says Butler, is “it’s a stupid program.”

“Why would I use the incentive?” he said. “I’m going to pay for the property taxes, I’m going to pay for the upkeep, I’m going to pay to paint, I’m going to pay to renovate, I’m going to pay to repair, I’m going to pay for all those things for, what, 10 years, and then you’re going to take the profit? It’s a stupid program and nobody wants to participate in it.”

Although he believes Hussen’s ineptitude aggravates matters, Butler says Canada’s housing crisis is predominantly a consequence of system failure on the Liberal Party’s behalf.

“If these guys fail for almost a decade, it’s time for change,” he said. “Trudeau promised it would get better, but it’s gotten worse. He’s talked about the housing crisis in every election he’s participated in, he’s promised to make it a priority and fix it, but here we are.”


  • Neil Sharma

    Neil is a Toronto-based journalist. Before his most recent stint as STOREYS' senior reporter, he was a regular contributor for the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, National Post, Vice, Canadian Real Estate Wealth, where he also served as editor-in-chief, and several other publications.