With the Liberals releasing their bold and aggressive plan to tackle the housing market, the Conservatives have released their plan should they win the election. Among many issues that are hot during this election cycle, housing affordability and real estate is being talked about by all parties.
Like the Liberals’ plan, the Conservative Party of Canada’s plan to ease housing affordability is a three-part plan that includes increasing housing supply, addressing money laundering and foreign investment and making mortgages more affordable.
Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole described Canada’s housing situation as something that required action “from all levels of government”. In the plan, he said “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.” And further went on to say that is more than just supply issues and took aim at foreign speculators, corruption and money laundering driving up the housing prices.
The plan includes increasing supply and pledged to build 1 million homes over the next three years. They will do this by leveraging federal infrastructure investments, particularly focusing on public transit infrastructure to connect residential and commercial areas to assist commuters and allow municipalities to increase their density. Additionally, they will incentivize developers to build rental housing and convert unused office space into housing as well as assisting Indigenous communities with more housing
The second part of the plan focuses on corruption and foreign speculative investment in the real estate market. Changes to the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act are included in this part. It will also include establishing a federal Beneficial Ownership Registry for residential property and following the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in BC.
Additionally, to combat the impact of foreign buyers and speculators on housing prices, the Conservatives pledge to ensure that housing is for Canadian citizens and residents first. With a bold vision that gives the real estate market back to all of Canada’s residents from young families to retirees and everything in between, the party pledges to ban foreign investors not living in or planning to move to Canada from buying homes for at least a two year period and push foreign investment into purpose-built rental housing that is affordable for Canadians.
In the third part of the plan, the Conservatives aim to make mortgages more affordable. They will do this by encouraging a new market across seven-to-ten-year mortgages to provide stability, both for lenders and first-time home buyers and reducing needs for stress tests. Additionally, they will increase the limit on eligibility for mortgage insurance and index it to home price inflation, which will allow many in high-priced markets such as Toronto opportunities to enter the market with less than a 20% down payment. A huge component of the plan will also update and repair the mortgage stress test to stop it from discriminating against contractors, small business owners and many non-permanent employees.
The Conservatives proudly tout that they will never tax Canadians’ capital gains on the sale of a principal residence.
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