2019 Election - What Are The Housing Platform Promises?

By: Laura Ubaldino

2019 Election - What Are The Housing Platform Promises?

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The Federal Election is fast approaching and the Canadian housing crisis is a key concern for many Canadians. Whether you are a First-Time Home Buyer, downsizer, real estate investor or renter, it's important to be well information on the various housing platforms from our various political parties.

I've combined the housing platforms from the key political parties for review, along with links to their entire platform. 

On October 21st, please vote! In no particular order, the housing platforms are listed below.

Conservative Party Housing Platform
 
On September 23, Andrew Scheer announced his four-point plan to make home ownership more affordable for Canadians.

1. Fix the mortgage stress test to ensure that first-time homebuyers aren’t unnecessarily prevented from accessing mortgages and work with OSFI to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals to give homeowners more options.

2. Increase amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30 years for first-time homebuyers to lower monthly payments.

3. Launch an inquiry into money laundering in the real estate sector and work with our industry partners to root out corrupt practices that inflate housing prices. 

4. Make surplus federal real estate available for development to increase the supply of housing.  
 
To read the full statement, please see the link here.
 
 New Democratic Party (NDP) Housing Platform
 
The current NDP housing platform is as follows: 

  1. Create 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next ten years, with half of that done within five years. This will be achieved with the right mix of effective measures that work in partnership with provinces and municipalities, build capacity for social, community, and affordable housing providers and co-ops, and meet environmental energy efficiency goals. This ambitious plan will create thousands of jobs in communities all across the country, and help Canadians get the affordable housing they need. The federal investment will begin with $5 billion in additional funding in the first year and a half of a New Democrat government.
  2. In order to kick-start the construction of co-ops, social, and non-profit housing, the NDP will set up dedicated fast-start funds to streamline the application process and help communities get the expertise and assistance they need to get projects off the ground today, not years from now.
  3. A New Democrat government will also spur the construction of affordable homes by waiving the federal portion of the GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units – a simple change that will help get new units built faster and keep them affordable for the long term.  
  4. While making affordable rental housing more available is critical, New Democrats believe that the dream of homeownership shouldn’t be forever out of reach for Canadian families. That’s why we will re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first time home buyers. This will allow for smaller monthly payments, freeing up funds to help make ends meet for young families. The NDP also give people a hand with closing costs by doubling the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $1,500.
  5. For Canadians who are open to innovative paths to home ownership, a New Democrat government will provide resources to facilitate co-housing, such as model co-ownership agreements and connections to local resources, and ease access to financing by offering CMHC-backed co-ownership mortgages.
  6. To help put an end to speculation that’s fuelling high housing prices, we’ll put in place a Foreign Buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to individuals who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents.  
  7. New Democrats will also fight money laundering, which fuels organized crime and drives up housing prices. We will work with the provinces to create a public beneficial ownership registry to increase transparency about who owns properties and require reporting of suspicious transactions in order to help find and stop money laundering.
To read the full statement, please see the link here.
 
Liberal Party of Canada Housing Platform
 
The current Liberal Party housing platform is as follows:
 
  1. First-time Home Buyer Incentive: The Liberal Party will move forward with the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which gives people up to 10 percent off the purchase price of their first home.  
  2. First-time Home Buyer Incentive Expansion:  The Liberals will also increase the qualifying value to nearly $800,000 in the places where houses cost more – like the greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria regions. As market dynamics change in different regions, the program will be adjusted to reflect those realities. 
  3. Non-Resident Tax: To limit the housing speculation that can drive up home prices, the Liberal Party will also put in place a consistent national tax on vacant residential properties owned by non-Canadians who don’t live in Canada.
To read the full platform, please see the link here.
 

Green Party of Canada Housing Platform
 
The current Green Party housing platform is as follows:

DIRECT INVESTMENTS BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT 
 
  1. Legislate housing as a legally protected fundamental human right for all Canadians and permanent residents. 
  2. Appoint a Minister of Housing to strengthen the National Housing Strategy so that it meets the needs for affordable housing that are unique to each province and oversee its implementation in collaboration with provincial ministers. This recognizes that housing is provincial jurisdiction. The target would be 25,000 new and 15,000 rehabilitated units annually for the next 10 years.  
  3. Increase the National Housing Co-investment Fund by $750 million for new builds, and the Canada Housing Benefit by $750 million for rent assistance for 125,000 households. 
  4. Create a Canada Co-op Housing Strategy that would update the mechanisms for financing co-op housing, in partnership with CMHC, co-op societies, credit unions and other lenders.
  5. Eliminate the first-time home buyer grant. 
FINANCING 
  1. Include new and existing housing as eligible infrastructure for funding purposes, allowing the Canada Infrastructure Bank to support provincial and municipal housing projects. 
  2. Provide financing to non-profit housing organizations and cooperatives to build and restore quality, restore tax incentives for building purpose-built rental housing and provide tax credits for gifts of lands, or of land and buildings, to community land trusts to provide affordable housing. 
  3. Remove the “deemed” GST whenever a developer with empty condo units places them on the market as rentals.  
  4. Re-focus the core mandate of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporate (CMHC) on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, as opposed to its current priority of supporting Canadian lenders to de-risk investment in housing ownership. With many housing markets demonstrably overvalued, and home ownership rates among the highest in the world, individual home ownership should not be the preoccupation of a public service housing agency and a national housing strategy.  
  5. Change the legislation that prevents Indigenous organizations from accessing financing through CMHC to invest in self-determined housing needs. 

To read the full platform, please see the link here.