Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s deputy chief economist says the private sector must be given the proper incentives to invest more in housing in order to address the need for 3.5 million additional units by 2030.

CMHC's forecast shows Canada's housing stock must climb to over 22 million units by 2030 to achieve affordability, which will require an estimated total investment of about $1 trillion.

Aled ab Iorwerth says private investment in housing can play an essential role in solving the housing affordability crisis but the sector "needs to up its game."

In a letter posted Tuesday, he urges increased automation and innovation in construction, streamlined supply chains and a shift from custom design to mass manufacturing in order to lower the costs of housing.

He says there needs to be more integration of policies across governments to reduce red tape and financial barriers on new construction while maintaining social and environmental objectives.

Ab Iorwerth says the negative practices of some private landlords also need to be addressed through effective regulation "rather than blaming the whole industry," but that the industry lacks the necessary data from municipalities and provinces to understand the scale of the problem.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023.