Summary of Housing Promises from Canada’s Main Political Parties

Canada’s main political parties have been unveiling housing promises over the past couple of weeks, each outlining how they plan to tackle the predominant housing issue of affordability.

The policies include everything from tweaks to the mortgage stress test and crack-downs on foreign purchases to increasing housing supply and several brand new homeowner assistance programs.

We’ve gone through the platforms from the top five represented parties and have compiled the key initiatives and some of their implications.


Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberals’ housing plan, A Home for Everyone, is based on the premise that “every Canadian deserves a place to call home.”

“You shouldn’t lose a bidding war on your home to speculators. And you shouldn’t have to move far away from your job, your school, or your family just to afford your rent.”

Here are some of the various promises a re-elected Liberal government says it will deliver:

  • Tweak the First-Time Home Buyers Incentive
    • Under the current First Time Home Buyer Incentive, the government receives an equity share in your home (5% for resales and up to 10% for new builds). Under the new plan, participants could choose between the shared-equity arrangement or opt for a loan that is repayable only at the time of sale.
  • Introduce a new tax-free First Home Savings Account.
    • This would combine the features of both an RRSP and a TFSA, allowing Canadians under 40 to save up to $40,000 towards their first home. The money could be withdrawn tax free to put towards their first home purchase with no requirement to repay it.
  • Double the First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit from $5,000 to $10,000
  • Ban new foreign ownership
    • This would be a temporary measure that would ban foreign money from purchasing non-recreational, residential properties in Canada for two years
  • Reduce CMHC default-insurance premiums by 25%
    • They say this could save the typical buyer $6,100.
  • Increase the insured mortgage cut-off from $1 million to $1.25 million
  • Introduce a Home Buyer’s Bill of Rights
    • The plan aims to ensure the home buying process is “fair, open and transparent.” Some of the measures include:
      • a ban on blind bidding
      • establishing a legal right to a home inspection
      • ensuring transparency on the history of recent house sale prices
      • implementing a publicly accessible beneficial ownership registry
      • requiring real estate agents to disclose all participants in a transaction when they are involved in both sides of the sale
      • ensuring banks and lenders offer mortgage deferrals of up to 6 months in the event of a job loss or major life event
  • Introduce a Rent-to-Own program
    • The plan calls for $1 billion worth of loans and grants to “develop and scale up rent-to-own projects with private, not-for-profit, and co-op partners.”
  • Build/repair more affordable housing
    • Increase funding to the National Housing Co-Investment fund by a total of $2.7 billion over four years
  • Review the tax treatment of large corporate real estate owners (i.e. REITs)
  • Introduce a Multi-generational Home Renovation tax credit
    • Homeowners wanting to add a secondary unit to their home for the use of immediate or extended family would be able to claim a 15% tax credit up to $50,000 for renovation and construction costs
  • Increase housing supply with the Housing Accelerator Fund
    • This plan would invest $4 billion in a Housing Accelerator Fund to create a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25
  • Establish an anti-flipping tax on residential properties
    • This would require owners to hold a property for at least 12 months before reselling it, with certain exemptions

Source: A Home for Everyone


Conservatives

The Conservative party has outlined its housing promises in its platform document entitled “Canada’s Recovery Plan.”

It’s time to face the fact: We have a housing crisis in Canada,” they say. “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.”

Here are the party’s key initiatives being proposed to tackle housing affordability:

  • 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
  • Increase the limit on mortgage insurance eligibility and index it to home price inflation
    • The Conservatives say this would allow those in high-priced real estate markets with less than a 20% down-payment an opportunity at home-ownership
  • Adjust the mortgage stress test to “stop discriminating” against small business owners, contractors and other non-permanent employees including casual workers
  • Promise not tax Canadians’ capital gains on the sale of their principal residence
  • Increase housing supply by building 1 million homes over the next three years
    • This plan would leverage federal infrastructure investments, including building and extending public transit to where people are buying homes
    • The government would also undertake a review of its 37,000 buildings across the country and release at least 15% to be used for housing
  • Encourage a new market in 7- to 10-year mortgages
    • They say this would provide stability to first-time homebuyers and reduce the need for mortgage stress tests
  • Crack down on “corrupt activities” that drive up home prices
    • This includes establishing a Beneficial Ownership Registry for residential properties
    • Implement “comprehensive” changes to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and strengthen the ability of prosecutors to crack down on money-laundering
  • Ban foreign investors not living in or moving to Canada from buying a home for two years and encourage foreign investment in affordable purpose-built rental housing

Source: Canada’s Recovery Plan


NDP

The NDP platform is less detailed then that of the Liberals and Conservatives, but here are the key promises being made:

  • Re-introduce 30-year terms on mortgages for “entry-level homes for first-time buyers” that are insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
    • The party said this will result in smaller monthly payments to free up funds for young families
  • Create at least 500,000 “quality, affordable” housing units over the next 10 years
    • This would involved working with the provinces and municipalities “build capacity for social, community, and affordable housing providers, to provide rental support for co-ops”
  • Introduce a 20% Foreign Buyer’s tax
    • This would apply to the sale of homes to those who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Waive the federal portion of GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units
  • Double the current Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $1,500
  • Provide resources to facilitate co-housing
    • This would include “model co-ownership agreements and connections to local resources,” and making it easier to access financing by offering CMHC-backed co-ownership mortgages
  • Fight money laundering in the housing market
    • The NDP promises to 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”

Source: NDP website


Bloc Quebecois

  • Introduce a new tax on real estate speculation
  • Invest 1% of the Federal government’s annual revenue into social housing to “ensure constant and predictable funding”
  • Convert all surplus federal properties to affordable social housing
  • Reform home ownership rules to take into account the different realities of Quebec households and more diverse family situations

Source: Platform Politique 2021


Green Party

The Green Party has not yet released its 2021 platform, but instead plans to unveil its commitments in pieces throughout the campaign. However, the following are the priorities that have so far been posted on the party’s website and communicated by leader Annamie Paul:

  • Declare a national housing and homelessness emergency and establish a national moratorium on evictions
  • Create a residential arrears assistance program
  • Refocus the core mandate of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) towards supporting development of affordable non-profit housing
  • Implement a retroactive residential tenant support benefit
  • Create a minister of housing to oversee these policies

Source: Green Party website

canada election 2021 housing promises

Like news like this?

Join our CMT Updates list and get the latest news as it happens. Unsubscribe anytime.

Thank you for subscribing. One more step: Please confirm your subscription via the email sent to you.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*