The Liberal government has been wracking their brains for a solution to the housing crisis, one that's impacting major Canadian cities today.
They’re looking to make home-buying more accessible for the millennial generation. Most of them are struggling to enter the housing market in the big cities.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau talked during a pre-budget event on Tuesday in Aurora, a Toronto suburb. He commented on the government’s intentions “to help first-time buyers enter the housing market at a time of rising interest rates and mortgage costs.”
Access to housing is set to be a major campaign issue as we approach October’s federal election. Thus, party leaders have begun to position themselves accordingly.
In addressing the business audience, Morneau explained that the Liberal government has zoned in on three key areas related to housing issues since 2015. Namely, “Canada’s shortage of affordable housing, a run-up in real-estate prices … and ensuring millennials can afford homes.”
According to Morneau, the federal government has already tried to increase affordable housing and “cool” the wildest markets. The stress tests of 2018 were designed to restrict people’s ability to take out mortgages beyond their reach.
“The middle part – the big middle part – is the affordable housing for millennials,” said Morneau. “That’s a real challenge and there’s multiple things we’re looking at in order to think about how we can help in that regard.”
Morneau will release his budget in the coming weeks and also lay out the Liberal platform commitments in this election year. He didn’t explain any specifics in detail.
Other party leaders are discussing their own stances on affordable housing.
Conservative MP Karen Vecchio released a statement Tuesday pointing the finger at the Trudeau government for taking money out of Canadian pockets -- money that could go towards buying homes.
“Justin Trudeau’s policies are making life more expensive for Canadians, pushing their dream of owning a home further and further away,” she said.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh had his own proposals, stating Monday he will “help build 500,000 new affordable housing units across Canada over the next 10 years.”
Singh also believes Ottawa should stop “applying GST to the cost of building new affordable units, provide a subsidy to renters who spend more than 30 per cent of their incomes on housing and double a tax credit for first-time home-buyers.”