It’s time to face the fact: We have a housing crisis in Canada. Affording a home - to rent, let alone to buy - is slipping out of reach of Canadians across our country. The primary cause is that supply simply isn’t keeping up with demand. Governments have not let Canadians build enough housing to keep up with our growing population.
We need action - from all levels of government. We need to treat this like the crisis it is. Years of study and delay will just leave more and more Canadians and newcomers trapped in inadequate or insecure housing. We need shovels in the ground building enough housing not just to keep up with but to get ahead of population growth. We need to ensure that Canadians, first and foremost, can afford the housing that we do have, keeping out foreign speculators, corruption, and laundered money that force up prices. And we need to remove unnecessary roadblocks preventing Canadians from getting mortgages.
Canada’s Conservatives have a plan to make housing more affordable.
To swiftly increase supply, we will implement a plan to build 1 million homes in the next three years.
To do so, we will:
- Leverage federal infrastructure investments to increase housing supply. We will:
- Build public transit infrastructure that connects homes and jobs by bringing public transit to where people are buying homes; and
- Require municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit;
- Review the extensive real estate portfolio of the federal government – the largest property owner in the country with over 37,000 buildings – and release at least 15% for housing while improving the Federal Lands Initiative;
- Incent developers to build the housing Canadians both want and need, by:
- Encouraging Canadians to invest in rental housing by extending the ability to defer capital gains tax when selling a rental property and reinvesting in rental housing, something that is currently excluded; and
- Exploring converting unneeded office space to housing.
- Continue the Conservative commitment to Reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples by enacting a “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” strategy – long called for by Indigenous housing advocates, who have been ignored by this Liberal government;
- Canada’s Conservatives are committed to putting a stop to federal paternalism and instead partnering with Indigenous communities and empowering Indigenous Peoples with the autonomy to meet their own housing needs.
- Enhance the viability of using Community Land Trusts for affordable housing by creating an incentive for corporations and private landowners to donate property to Land Trusts for the development of affordable housing.
- The incentive will mirror that which exists for donating land to ecological reserves.
To root out the corrupt activities that drive up real estate prices and put homeownership out of reach, we will:
- Implement comprehensive changes to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, and give FINTRAC, law enforcement, and prosecutors the tools necessary to identify, halt, and prosecute money-laundering in Canadian real estate markets
- Establish a federal Beneficial Ownership Registry for residential property.
- Closely examine the findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, which is doing important work, and quickly implement recommendations at the federal level.
To arrest and reverse the inflationary impacts of foreign buyers and speculation in the housing market, we will ensure that housing in Canada is truly for Canadian citizens and residents first. The Liberals are on record stating, “we’re a very safe market for foreign investment but we’re not a great market for Canadians looking for choices around housing.” This must change.
We need a real estate market that serves the interests of everyday Canadians: the young family, who needs more space for their kids, the recent university grad trying to find an apartment in the city, the tradesperson moving to a new community for work, the retired empty-nesters wanting to downsize without losing all their home equity to pay for an overpriced condo – all are underserved by Canada’s lack of affordable housing options.
- Ban foreign investors not living in or moving to Canada from buying homes here for a two year period after which it will be reviewed.
- Instead, encourage foreign investment in purpose-built rental housing that is affordable to Canadians.
To address homelessness, we will:
- Re-implement the Housing First approach, which has been watered down by the current federal government, to aid in the fight against Canada’s addictions crisis.
- Revise the federal government’s substance abuse policy framework to make recovery its overarching goal.
- Invest $325 million over the next three years to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country.
- Support innovative approaches to address the crises of mental health challenges and addiction, such as land-based treatment programs developed and managed by Indigenous communities as part of a plan to enhance the delivery of culturally appropriate addictions treatment and prevention services in First Nations communities with high needs.
To make mortgages more affordable, we will:
- Encourage a new market in seven- to ten-year mortgages to provide stability both for first-time home buyers and lenders, opening another secure path to homeownership for Canadians, and reducing the need for mortgage stress tests.
- Remove the requirement to conduct a stress test when a homeowner renews a mortgage with another lender instead of only when staying with their current lender, as is the case today. This will increase competition and help homeowners access more affordable options.
- Increase the limit on eligibility for mortgage insurance and index it to home price inflation, allowing those in high-priced real estate markets with less than a 20% down-payment an opportunity at home-ownership.
- Fix the mortgage stress test to stop discriminating against small business owners, contractors and other non-permanent employees including casual workers.
Canada’s Conservatives will never tax Canadians’ capital gains on the sale of their principal residence, something many within the Liberal party are threatening to do.
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