It’s officially election season! The upcoming federal election will take place this September 20, 2021, to elect members of the House of Commons to the Canadian Parliament. There are 4 major political parties who have put nominations forward in this election: the Green Party, the Liberal Party of Canada, the New Democratic Party and the Conservative Party of Canada. Each of these parties’ nominations have made promises about housing platforms, which will be elaborated upon in this blog post.
**Disclosure**: HonestDoor does not officially endorse any political candidates. That being said, we encourage our users and all members in the community to be politically active and support the candidates that you believe in. This blog will highlight the housing platforms put forward by leaders of each party, but does not go into detail about other aspects of their campaign promises.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his team of Liberals have made multiple promises if re-elected. These promises include:
Ban on Foreign Ownership: Imposing a ban on new foreign ownership of housing for the next 2 years.
Creating a tax-free ‘First Home Savings Account’: This would allow those under the age of 40 to save up to $40,000 and withdraw it tax-free to put towards a home purchase.
Building Affordable Homes: The government’s 2021 budget includes $1.5 billion dedicated to building new affordable homes (as part of it’s Rapid Housing Initiative, which seeks to build new affordable housing units faster). The Liberal party has promised to build 1.4 million new, market-priced homes over the next four years.
Reduce speculation and house-flipping: Trudeau and his team have also promised to reduce incentives for speculation and house-flipping, such as a new tax on people or companies who buy and sell homes within a 12-month period and targeting “underused” housing.
Support Indigenous housing: Trudeau has pledged to invest $360M for housing in Nunavut. In addition, Trudeau has promised to work with Indigenous partners to co-develop an urban, rural and Northern Indigenous housing strategy in order to close the gap of Indigenous infrastructure.
End chronic homelessness: In the 2021 budget, the Liberals plan to continue moving forward with a $567M investment to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% by 2027.
Rent-to-Own Program: The Liberals plan to introduce a new Rent-to-Own program to make it easier for renters to become homeowners. The plan includes committing $1B in loans and grants to develop and scale-up rent-to-own projects with private, not-for-profit, and co-op partners.
Overall, the Liberal Party of Canada plans are aimed to unlock new home ownership, to build new homes and protect Canadians’ rights.
Erin O’Toole and the Conservative Party have promised, if elected, to:
Restrict Foreign Investors: Foreign investors, as defined as those who do not live in Canada, would be restricted from buying a home in Canada for the next 2 years.
Build 1M Affordable Homes: The Conservatives plan to build one million homes within the next 3 years for affordable housing.
Converting Property: Conversion of at least 15% of federal government property into housing.
Creation of an Indigenous Housing Strategy: Enacting the “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” strategy, this is a commitment to reconcile with Canada’s Indigenous People. Additionally, it is a plan to enhance the viability of using Community Land Trusts by creating an incentive for corporations and private landowners to donate property to Land Trusts for the development of affordable housing.
Offer 7-10 year Mortgages: The Conservatives plan to make adjustments to the stress test and requirements for qualifying for a home, in order to make it easier to get financing. They have proposed the offering of seven to ten year mortgages as a way to also help qualify for financing.
Incentivize Developers: O’Toole’s plan is to extend the ability to defer capital gains tax when an individual is selling a rental property and reinvesting in rental housing.
The New Democratic Party and leader Jagmeet Singh have created a proposal centered around:
Affordable Housing: The promise to build 500,000 affordable homes within 10 years.
Foreign Buyer’s Tax: Promising a 20% foreign buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to those who are not permanent residents in Canada nor are Canadian citizens.
30-year Mortgages: The party has promised to create 30-year mortgages, all of which will be insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Incentivize construction: The NDP has promised to incentivize construction of new purpose-built rental housing by removing GST from development costs, as a way to increase construction and make housing more affordable for Canadians.
Increasing the Capital Gains Tax: Singh is promising to cut down on "big money" house-flippers by increasing the taxable amount of capital gains profits from 50% to 75%, targeting wealthy speculators who buy affordable homes, renovate them quickly, and then resell them for a profit.
The Green Party has not yet released the platform for housing for the 2021 election, but we know they have previously advocated for more affordable housing in Canada. Additionally, Annamie Paul and the Green Party have discussed the creation and implementation of the “Empty Home Tax”, a federal tax that would apply to foreign and corporate property owners with vacant units.
Overall, the housing platforms made by each political party show innovative and effective methods for combatting housing issues facing Canadians today. Since housing affordability has become such a significant problem over the past few years, we can only hope the winning party implements these solutions in an effort to help Canadians afford a home and live comfortably. Please remember that we’re in campaign season so these are all public promises for now.
If we missed any campaign promises, tell us! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget to mail in your ballots or vote in-person on September 20th!
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