Liberals promise to help first-time homebuyers in the form of grants and loans



HAMILTON – Liberal leader Justin Trudeau outlined his party’s plan to facilitate home buying across the country, promising again to address the housing affordability crisis that has intensified since he took office.

Just four years ago, liberals unveiled an ambitious housing strategy designed to boost supply and help lower costs for families.

In subsequent years, the strategy was expanded and was estimated at tens of billions of dollars.

What the Liberals unveiled on Tuesday will set up programs aimed at first-time home buyers, including a program to help offset the cost of mortgages that the government recently expanded due to weak demand in some of the country’s most popular housing markets.

Trudeau defended his government’s existing national housing strategy, which the parliamentary budget official described as having limited impact earlier this month, saying the announcement of the changes and additions was not a sign of any flaw.

“Anyone who promises they can fix a housing crisis like this does not understand the housing crisis or has no real plan for how to do it. They’re just trying to sell you something, ”Trudeau said. housing construction, where house prices can be as high as $ 1 million.

“This is why we have created a very ambitious yet multifaceted plan that delivers tangible results so that people have better options.”

At times he tried to be heard when one critic chided the prime minister for alleged inaction on house prices since taking office in late 2015, another criticized him for organizing evacuations in Afghanistan, and another for compulsory vaccinations for travelers. …

The Liberal housing plan calls for the construction, renovation or protection of 1.4 million homes, although the party did not provide a breakdown of that figure.

It then provides nearly $ 1 billion in loans and grants to help develop multi-partner lease-to-buy projects, paving the way for tenants to acquire home ownership in five years or less.

The party also promises to create what they call the First Home Savings Account, where individuals under 40 can save up to $ 40,000 internally and withdraw tax-free as a down payment without having to repay it, as well as expand the existing tax credit for new buyers and reduce 25% of the cost of mortgage insurance from the federal housing agency.

The plan also includes the Housing Accelerator Fund, which will provide $ 4 billion to help major cities accelerate their housing plans to create 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2025, with some funding for the cities included in the plan. use it or lose it.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said Trudeau had six years to enact this housing policy and “failed.”

“Under his leadership, a housing crisis has broken out over the past three to four years,” O’Toole said in Ottawa.

“He had programs that were ineffective in terms of affordable housing, in terms of programs for first-time buyers ΓǪ We have a serious plan to overcome a serious crisis for our country, and after six years of inaction on the part of Mr. Trudeau, empty words today are not what Canadians deserve. “

Greens leader Annami Paul spoke Tuesday about affordable housing in Downtown Toronto, where she runs. The median income is $ 39,000, while the median one-bedroom rent is $ 2,300, she said.

“So you count and tell me how people are going to make ends meet,” she said.

“This is what is bad luck. This is what got worse, and we know that the situation has escalated during the pandemic. “

The Liberals’ pledge unveiled on Tuesday reinforces their recent call for local governments to rewrite policies to better align with their national housing strategy.

Trudeau also promised homeowners a “bill of rights” that would ban blind bidding, legalize inspection, ban foreign buyers for two years as the Conservatives had promised, and a residential property tax.

Trudeau suggested that the government has the tools to enforce the proposed set of rules and prevent predatory and speculative practices.

“Justin Trudeau has been on the side of the wealthy speculators for six years because they made the value of the house unaffordable to everyone else,” said NDP leader Jagmit Singh in a statement. “If he really wanted to make housing more accessible to people, he would have done it already.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 24, 2021.


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