For those who are concerned about housing or involved in the residential real estate market — which makes most of us — it’s crucial to consider the three main parties’ housing platforms when voting in the current federal election.
Below is a quick summary of the key housing promises from the Liberal, NDP and Conservative parties.
• Keep the new First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI), which loans buyers either five per cent (resale home) or 10 per cent (new-build) towards the purchase price of their first home
• Increase the qualifying value for the FTHBI to nearly $800,000 in areas such as Vancouver and Toronto, where real estate is more expensive
• Create a national tax on vacant residential properties owned by non-Canadians who don’t live in Canada
• Work with interested provinces, territories and communities to establish a national approach to beneficial ownership so that law enforcement and tax authorities have the tools necessary to crack down on financial crime in the real estate sector
• Build new, purpose-built, accessible and affordable housing units, with a full range of health, social and employment supports for veterans who need extra help
• Provide an additional $5 billion to fund new affordable housing
• Create 250,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next five years and another 250,000 units in the following five years
• Establish “fast-start funds” to facilitate the construction of co-ops and social and non-profit housing
• Waive the federal portion of the GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units
• Reintroduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first-time homebuyers.
• Double the Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to $1,500
• Provide resources to facilitate co-housing
• Implement a national foreign buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to individuals who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents
• Change the mortgage stress test to ensure that first-time homebuyers aren’t unnecessarily prevented from getting mortgages, and work with Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals to give homeowners more options
• Increase amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30 years for first-time homebuyers to decrease monthly payments
• Launch an inquiry into money laundering in the real estate sector and work with industry partners to root out corrupt practices that inflate housing prices
• Make surplus federal real estate available for development to increase the supply of housing