Candidates Response to Question 3 of the 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire

On October 19, 2015 Halton voters will cast their ballot for local Federal candidates. On behalf of Halton residents, Regional Chair Gary Carr has sent a letter and questionnaire to Halton’s candidates asking for their positions on a number of issues of critical importance to Halton Region.

Question 3

The provision of safe, affordable, accessible housing is a critical component of fostering healthy communities. Municipalities across the country are actively working to make communities livable for everyone by ensuring access to housing for newcomers, young people, the middle class and seniors. For too many Halton residents, affordable homeownership remains out of reach. As Canadian municipalities are unable to keep up with the demand for affordable housing options, there is a clear need for long-term predictable funding and a national housing strategy to improve the lives of residents and strengthen communities.

How would you and your government support increased affordable and assisted housing in Halton Region? What would you do to move the creation of a national housing strategy forward?

Choose which candidates to display
Burlington
    Vince Fiorito – Green Party of Canada



Oakville North-Burlington






Milton
    Alex Anabusi – New Democratic Party
    Mini Batra – Green Party of Canada


    Azim Rizvee – Liberal Party of Canada

Oakville

    Che Marville – New Democratic Party


Wellington - Halton Hills



    Anne Gajerski-Cauley – New Democratic Party


Karina Gould – Liberal Party of Canada 
Affordable housing is an issue I have come to understand first hand through my meetings with local co-op boards, social housing units and from people in the community struggling to find affordable accommodation. In the Halton region, we have an oversupply of housing for high earning families, but long wait lists for adults and seniors who need affordable housing.
Tackling the housing shortage requires collaborative planning between orders of government and sustained funding. We need a federal government that will step up and come up with a national solution that works locally.
A Liberal government will invest in a National Housing Strategy that makes direct investments in affordable housing, provides tax incentives to expand affordable rental housing, renews the Co- Operative Housing Agreements, improves data collection, reviews policies on housing in high-priced markets, and offers more flexibility for new home buyers.
A Liberal government will make a historic investment in infrastructure—over $125 billion over the next decade, doubling current investment—including social infrastructure of $6 billion over the next 4 years, amounting to a total of almost $20 billion over the next 10 years.
Our plan will renew federal leadership in affordable housing, helping to: build more housing units, refurbish existing ones, renew existing co-­‐operative agreements, incentivise rental builds, and provide operational funding support for municipalities.
View all of Karina Gould's responses

David Laird

David Laird – New Democratic Party 
The NDP will enact legislation to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians. We recognize housing as a right and we are committed to the development of a national housing strategy.

The NDP will work with municipalities and provinces to restore long term, stable funding to affordable housing. We will renew cooperative housing operating agreements that are set to expire, and we will invest over $2 billion in housing cooperatives and social housing by 2020.

If I am elected, I will support the creation of a national housing strategy. Poverty is a complex and multidimensional issue. I will support programs that will help alleviate poverty in Burlington and that enable residents of my community to live and work with dignity.
View all of David Lairds's responses

Mike Wallace

Mike Wallace – Conservative Party of Canada
Over the last decade, the Conservative government has made significant investments into affordable housing in Halton Region.
The most recent federal budget reaffirms the Conservative commitment to ensuring low-income families and vulnerable Canadians have access to affordable housing options. Through targeted investments, Conservatives are committed to working with the provincial government and not-for-profit organizations to increase the supply, quality, accessibility and affordability of housing in Halton Region.
Conservatives are committed to spending more than $2.3 billion per year over the next four years to help ensure Canadians in need have access to affordable, sound and suitable housing. Of this amount, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will invest $1.7 billion annually to support 570,000 households that depend on social housing support. Further, the federal budget of 2013 announced $253 million per year, beginning in April 2014, to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing to March 31, 2019. Under this initiative, the Province of Ontario matches federal investments and has the flexibility to design and deliver programs that are tailored to address their local housing needs and pressures. Since the introduction of the Investment in Affordable Housing in 2011, over 205,000 households have benefitted from the initiative. The federal budget of 2013 also provided $119 million per year over five years to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy until 2018–19. Using a Housing First approach, support is provided to assist homeless individuals transition from shelters and the streets into stable housing. In addition to the federal investment in affordable housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Direct Lending activities offer low-cost loans to federally assisted social housing projects. In 2013, over $1.126 billion was provided in direct loans.
Finally, Conservatives believe that the foundation of safe, affordable, accessible housing is sound economic management. That is why Conservatives have a low-tax, balanced budget plan to protect Canada’s economy, create jobs and increase home ownership levels.
A re-elected Conservative Government would aim to add more than 700,000 new homeowners to Canada’s rolls by 2020. A re-elected Conservative Government will build on its record of supporting affordable, responsible homeownership for families by:

  • Expanding the Home Buyers’ Plan from $25,000 to $35,000 so that first-time home buyers can withdraw savings tax-free to make their down payments.
  • Maintaining the 2015 enhancement to Tax-Free Savings Accounts that allows annual contributions of up to $10,000 so that Canadians can save and invest even more of their hard-earned money tax-free.
  • Implementing the new Home Accessibility Tax Credit which provides up to $1,500 to seniors and disabled Canadians to keep their homes safe and secure.
  • Establishing a new permanent Home Renovation Tax Credit for home renovation expenses between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Collecting data on foreign buyer activity in Canada’s housing market and, as necessary, taking concrete action to address the issue in coordination with provinces.

View all of Mike Wallace's responses

Chris Jewell – Libertarian Party of Canada 
Affordable and assisted housing, is a band aid solution. This problem cannot be fixed with social programs. There are three main reasons that housing is unaffordable and a lack of government support isn't one of them.
Housing is not affordable because the market is too heavily distorted. Prior to the 1970s, our currency was backed by commodities. This kept inflation in check. In the 1970s, we moved to a purely fiat currency. Instead of a currency reflecting the amount of gold Canada had in its vaults, the currency became backed by nothing! Nothing at all. The way that the currency was created, was by debt. When you go to the bank and take out a new loan, that isn't some kindly banker opening his vault and lending you the cash, it's actually brand new money the bank is crediting to your account! Brand new cash, that you then get to pay back with interest! Of course, since we all need to take out loans, this has greatly increased the money supply causing massive inflation. Not to mention the fact that the trillions of dollars in new money are being dumped directly into the real estate market! This, coupled with massive inflation, is creating a massive, unsustainable housing bubble!
To put it into perspective, remember that Bare Naked Ladies song, 'If I Had A Million Dollars?' In the 90s that million might have actually bought you a house with a tree fort, a limo, a monkey and all the other stuff listed in the song. Now you will probably be lucky if it gets you the house with the tree fort! If it does, you'll probably be forced to eat Kraft Dinner because you're in debt up to your eyeballs! That just goes to show you how much inflation has impacted on our lives.
Rather than address the issue, the government has responded by trying to manage the crisis the intervention has simply compounded the problem. To combat rising home ownership costs we placed price controls of rent. This created a problem in the sense that developers simply stopped building rental units, since the price that could be charged from rent was below market value! It actually made rent less affordable by restricting the supply! So how did we deal with the problem that no one can afford rent or buy? We created the 2.2 Billion dollar a year CMHC so that we could all buy houses! We also drove interest rates down to record lows. This created a moral hazard for both banks and borrowers. Banks can now make loans to people who, rightfully, can't afford to pay them back. This is because the CMHC has insured the banks at the expense of tax payers. We have also forced people, who really cannot afford a house, into home ownership by making interest payments incredibly low. Thus, we have come to point we are at, we have massive inflation, a small rental market, and a housing bubble that is absolutely crippling Canadians with debt.
So how do we fix the situation? We get rid of the CMHC, we get rid of centrally controlled artificially low interest rates, and we reform our currency. Barring that, we can expect life long, multigenerational mortgages and utter misery. There is absolutely no way out of this mess, other than fixing the problems that caused it. The longer we wait, the more painful this is going to be, not just for the poor, but for everyone.
View all of Chris Jewell's responses

Lisa Raitt

Lisa Raitt – Conservative Party of Canada
Over the last decade, the Conservative government has made significant investments into affordable housing in Halton Region.
The most recent federal budget reaffirms the Conservative commitment to ensuring low-income families and vulnerable Canadians have access to affordable housing options. Through targeted investments, Conservatives are committed to working with the provincial government and not-for-profit organizations to increase the supply, quality, accessibility and affordability of housing in Halton Region.
Conservatives are committed to spending more than $2.3 billion per year over the next four years to help ensure Canadians in need have access to affordable, sound and suitable housing. Of this amount, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will invest $1.7 billion annually to support 570,000 households that depend on social housing support. Further, the federal budget of 2013 announced $253 million per year, beginning in April 2014, to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing to March 31, 2019. Under this initiative, the Province of Ontario matches federal investments and has the flexibility to design and deliver programs that are tailored to address their local housing needs and pressures. Since the introduction of the Investment in Affordable Housing in 2011, over 205,000 households have benefitted from the initiative. The federal budget of 2013 also provided $119 million per year over five years to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy until 2018–19. Using a Housing First approach, support is provided to assist homeless individuals transition from shelters and the streets into stable housing. In addition to the federal investment in affordable housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Direct Lending activities offer low-cost loans to federally assisted social housing projects. In 2013, over $1.126 billion was provided in direct loans.
Finally, Conservatives believe that the foundation of safe, affordable, accessible housing is sound economic management. That is why Conservatives have a low-tax, balanced budget plan to protect Canada’s economy, create jobs and increase home ownership levels.
A re-elected Conservative Government would aim to add more than 700,000 new homeowners to Canada’s rolls by 2020. A re-elected Conservative Government will build on its record of supporting affordable, responsible homeownership for families by:

  • Expanding the Home Buyers’ Plan from $25,000 to $35,000 so that first-time home buyers can withdraw savings tax-free to make their down payments.
  • Maintaining the 2015 enhancement to Tax-Free Savings Accounts that allows annual contributions of up to $10,000 so that Canadians can save and invest even more of their hard-earned money tax-free.
  • Implementing the new Home Accessibility Tax Credit which provides up to $1,500 to seniors and disabled Canadians to keep their homes safe and secure.
  • Establishing a new permanent Home Renovation Tax Credit for home renovation expenses between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Collecting data on foreign buyer activity in Canada’s housing market and, as necessary, taking concrete action to address the issue in coordination with provinces.

View all of Lisa Raitt 's responses
David Doel

David Doel – Green Party of Canada  website   mail
We will implement a National Housing Strategy based on Housing First principles. Housing First is a proven, recovery-oriented approach that centres on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent, permanent housing, and then providing additional supports and services as needed. This strategy will guarantee dignity and support for Canadians at the margins of our society, and will help address homelessness while at the same time reducing the burden on our emergency and health services.
Furthermore, Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May has spoken often of tasking a veritable army of contractors to work on retrofitting and upgrading the existing housing stock with more efficient insulation, among other things, in order to keep Canadian families warmer in winter and cooler in summer without having to break the bank in order to do so, while at the same time relieving some of the stress on our aging power grid.
View all of David Doel's responses

John Oliver – Liberal Party of Canada  website   mail
Liberals understand that affordable housing is part of the solution to many of the challenges facing our communities. Better housing can make a meaningful impact on child poverty, high student debt, and retirement security for seniors. It can also provide much-needed stability to people with serious health, mental health, and addiction conditions.
Tackling the housing shortage requires collaborative planning between orders of government and sustained funding. A Liberal government will invest in a National Housing Strategy that makes direct investments in affordable housing, provides tax incentives to expand affordable rental housing, improves data collection, reviews policies on housing in high-priced markets, and offers more flexibility for new home buyers.

  • The Liberal Party of Canada will make it easier for Canadians to find an affordable place to call home through the following strategies:
  • As part of our new, ten-year investment of nearly $20 billion in social infrastructure, we will prioritize significant new investment in affordable housing and seniors facilities. This investment will renew federal leadership in housing, help build more housing units and refurbish existing ones, renew current co-operative agreements, and provide operational funding support for municipalities, including renewing support for Housing First initiatives that help homeless Canadians find stable housing.
  • We will increase the new residential rental property rebate on the GST to 100 percent, eliminating all GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing. This will end the tax penalty on developers interested in building new, modestly priced rental properties, as well as provide $125 million per year in tax incentives to increase and substantially renovate the supply of rental housing across Canada.
  • We will direct the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing to support construction by the private sector, social enterprises, coops, and the not-for-profit sector of new, affordable rental housing for middle- and low-income Canadians.
  • We will conduct an inventory of all available federal lands and buildings that could be repurposed, and make some of these available at low cost for affordable housing in communities where there is a pressing need. This work would be done in partnership with municipalities, provinces, and territories as they develop their urban growth plans.
  • We will modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plan so that it helps more Canadians finance the purchase of a home. We will allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes, such as job relocation, the death of a spouse, marital breakdown, or a decision to accommodate an elderly family member, to access the program and use money from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan to buy a house without tax penalty.

View all of John Oliver's responses
Terence Young

Terence Young – Conservative Party of Canada
Over the last decade, the Conservative government has made significant investments into affordable housing in Halton Region.
The most recent federal budget reaffirms the Conservative commitment to ensuring low-income families and vulnerable Canadians have access to affordable housing options. Through targeted investments, Conservatives are committed to working with the provincial government and not-for-profit organizations to increase the supply, quality, accessibility and affordability of housing in Halton Region.
Conservatives are committed to spending more than $2.3 billion per year over the next four years to help ensure Canadians in need have access to affordable, sound and suitable housing. Of this amount, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will invest $1.7 billion annually to support 570,000 households that depend on social housing support. Further, the federal budget of 2013 announced $253 million per year, beginning in April 2014, to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing to March 31, 2019. Under this initiative, the Province of Ontario matches federal investments and has the flexibility to design and deliver programs that are tailored to address their local housing needs and pressures. Since the introduction of the Investment in Affordable Housing in 2011, over 205,000 households have benefitted from the initiative. The federal budget of 2013 also provided $119 million per year over five years to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy until 2018–19. Using a Housing First approach, support is provided to assist homeless individuals transition from shelters and the streets into stable housing. In addition to the federal investment in affordable housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Direct Lending activities offer low-cost loans to federally assisted social housing projects. In 2013, over $1.126 billion was provided in direct loans.
Finally, Conservatives believe that the foundation of safe, affordable, accessible housing is sound economic management. That is why Conservatives have a low-tax, balanced budget plan to protect Canada’s economy, create jobs and increase home ownership levels.
A re-elected Conservative Government would aim to add more than 700,000 new homeowners to Canada’s rolls by 2020. A re-elected Conservative Government will build on its record of supporting affordable, responsible homeownership for families by:

  • Expanding the Home Buyers’ Plan from $25,000 to $35,000 so that first-time home buyers can withdraw savings tax-free to make their down payments.
  • Maintaining the 2015 enhancement to Tax-Free Savings Accounts that allows annual contributions of up to $10,000 so that Canadians can save and invest even more of their hard-earned money tax-free.
  • Implementing the new Home Accessibility Tax Credit which provides up to $1,500 to seniors and disabled Canadians to keep their homes safe and secure.
  • Establishing a new permanent Home Renovation Tax Credit for home renovation expenses between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Collecting data on foreign buyer activity in Canada’s housing market and, as necessary, taking concrete action to address the issue in coordination with provinces.

View all of Terence Young's responses
Janice Best

Janice Best – New Democratic Party  website   mail
An NDP government will enact the Affordable Housing Act, a bill that recognizes housing as a right and calls for the development of a national housing strategy. We will work with provinces, municipalities and Indigenous communities to implement that strategy. Our commitment includes an increase to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, as well as indexing the funding to inflation. We will continue to support the proven approach of Housing First, while also ensuring that the full range of services necessary for support and prevention are also eligible for funding. By increasing the stock of affordable housing and placing emphasis within our affordable housing strategy on vulnerable populations, we also hope to reduce the number of Canadians who are at risk of becoming homeless.
We will sustain investment in Canada’s affordable housing agreements, and provide incentives for the construction of 10,000 affordable and market rental housing units. The NDP is committed to renewing co-operative agreements that are set to expire and invest over $2 billion in co-ops and social housing by 2020.
View all of Janice Best's responses

David Clement – Libertarian Party of Canada  website   mail
The first step to ensuring affordable housing is making sure that Canadian citizens have more money in their pockets. Right now, Canadians pay more in taxes than they do for food, clothing and shelter combined. That is why the Libertarian Party wants to reduce taxes for all Canadians. The process for this is quite simple:

  1. Increase the Basic Exemption by over 50% to $17,300. This automatically means that every Canadian sees a dramatic increase in their tax free earnings
  2. Eliminate all tax credits in exchange for 4, $4,000 tax exemptions (Child, Disability, Senior and Student).
  3. Reduce taxes to a maximum rate of 15%
In practice, this means that families are immediately keeping more of their hard earned money. The average Oakville family saves over $5,500 per year under this system, and a low income family (under $42,000) would pay no taxes at the federal level. Having citizens keep more of their money is the first step to a more affordable life, and more affordable housing.
When it comes to a national housing strategy, I think these plans are destined to fail. Regional and local differences across this country make it extremely difficult to make a cohesive national strategy that actually gets the results that are needed. We oppose a national strategy in exchange for local and provincial programs. It should also be noted that whenever a political party talks about increasing funding for certain programs, they ultimately mean increasing taxes on Canadian citizens. The Libertarian Party feels that there are solutions beyond increasing taxes and simply spending more money to try and fix a problem. Our economic plan empowers Canadians, and will help lift thousands upon thousands of Canadians out of poverty.
View all of David Clement's responses

Pam Damoff – Liberal Party of Canada  website   mail
If elected, a Liberal government would propose a renewed federal role in housing, including investments in innovative programs for supportive housing and predictable and sustained new funding for affordable housing. Accordingly, part of our new ten-year investment of nearly $20 billion in social infrastructure will be prioritized for significant new funding in affordable housing and seniors facilities. To further encourage the construction of more retail housing, we will increase the new residential retail property rebate on the GST to 100%, eliminating all GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing. We will also direct the CMHC and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing to support construction of new affordable rental housing.
Other measures we will implement to increase access to housing will include making surplus federal land available for affordable housing at low cost, modernizing the Home Buyers’ Plan to allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes to access money from their RRSPs to buy a house without facing tax penalties, and undertake a review of home prices in high-priced markets such as the GTA to determine whether speculation is driving up the cost of housing and, if so, investigate policy tools available to keep home ownership within reach for average Canadians.
View all of Pam Damoff's responses

Adnan Shahbaz

Adnan Shahbaz – Green Party of Canada 
The Green Party is committed to affordable housing. Access to affordable, safe, and secure housing is an essential prerequisite to an equitable society. However, Canada is the only country in the OECD without a National Housing Strategy. Housing crosses all jurisdictions. The Green Party will work with the Council of Canadian Governments and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive National Housing Strategy.
The National Housing Strategy will:

  • Include concrete steps for a seniors’ housing plan, a First Nations plan, a plan for social housing, and for affordable market housing;
  • Create a Housing First Approach, a one on one outreach initiative that houses chronically homeless people and provides immediate support;
  • Dedicate funding to the cooperative housing sector to enable more new affordable housing projects to proceed, while extending funding for coops whose contracts with the federal government are expiring;
  • Retrofit all Canadian homes by 2030 to increase energy efficiency, cut heating and electricity bills, and reduce 80% of building emissions by 2040;
  • Implement a Guaranteed Livable Income to help low income Canadians afford housing
  • Eliminate Stephen Harper’s Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, which currently allows foreign investors to purchase Canadian properties and can drive housing prices up for Canadian families beyond their reach;
  • Increase access to social housing for First Nations on and off reserve, while strengthening enforcement of living and maintenance standards through our proposed Council of Canadian Governments; and
  • Ensure a percentage of all newly built units are reserved for affordable housing.
The Green Party is committed to stable and adequate annual funding for the construction of new rental housing. Our target is the construction of 20,000 new and 8,000 rehabilitated affordable housing units each year for the next decade.
To support home ownership, we also support indexing the GST New Home Rebate to inflation. Inflation has eroded this rebate to the point where too many no longer qualify for a full rebate. It no longer fulfils its purpose of helping new home buyers. Buying a home is turning into a pipe dream, especially for young families. The federal government promised to do its part to help maintain affordability. It is only fair to keep that promise. The Green Party also supports indexing the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan to the Consumer Price Index in $2,500 increments, to make sure that it remains a useful tool for people buying their first homes. We will work to ensure that mortgage amortization rates meet the needs of home buyers. We will also consider broadening the eligibility for the HBP to include individuals who have experienced a life changing event such as the death of a spouse or marital breakdown.
View all of Adnan Shahbaz's responses
Effie Triantafilopoulos

Effie Triantafilopoulos – Conservative Party of Canada
Over the last decade, the Conservative government has made significant investments into affordable housing in Halton Region.
The most recent federal budget reaffirms the Conservative commitment to ensuring low-income families and vulnerable Canadians have access to affordable housing options. Through targeted investments, Conservatives are committed to working with the provincial government and not-for-profit organizations to increase the supply, quality, accessibility and affordability of housing in Halton Region.
Conservatives are committed to spending more than $2.3 billion per year over the next four years to help ensure Canadians in need have access to affordable, sound and suitable housing. Of this amount, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will invest $1.7 billion annually to support 570,000 households that depend on social housing support. Further, the federal budget of 2013 announced $253 million per year, beginning in April 2014, to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing to March 31, 2019. Under this initiative, the Province of Ontario matches federal investments and has the flexibility to design and deliver programs that are tailored to address their local housing needs and pressures. Since the introduction of the Investment in Affordable Housing in 2011, over 205,000 households have benefitted from the initiative. The federal budget of 2013 also provided $119 million per year over five years to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy until 2018–19. Using a Housing First approach, support is provided to assist homeless individuals transition from shelters and the streets into stable housing. In addition to the federal investment in affordable housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Direct Lending activities offer low-cost loans to federally assisted social housing projects. In 2013, over $1.126 billion was provided in direct loans.
Finally, Conservatives believe that the foundation of safe, affordable, accessible housing is sound economic management. That is why Conservatives have a low-tax, balanced budget plan to protect Canada’s economy, create jobs and increase home ownership levels.
A re-elected Conservative Government would aim to add more than 700,000 new homeowners to Canada’s rolls by 2020. A re-elected Conservative Government will build on its record of supporting affordable, responsible homeownership for families by:

  • Expanding the Home Buyers’ Plan from $25,000 to $35,000 so that first-time home buyers can withdraw savings tax-free to make their down payments.
  • Maintaining the 2015 enhancement to Tax-Free Savings Accounts that allows annual contributions of up to $10,000 so that Canadians can save and invest even more of their hard-earned money tax-free.
  • Implementing the new Home Accessibility Tax Credit which provides up to $1,500 to seniors and disabled Canadians to keep their homes safe and secure.
  • Establishing a new permanent Home Renovation Tax Credit for home renovation expenses between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Collecting data on foreign buyer activity in Canada’s housing market and, as necessary, taking concrete action to address the issue in coordination with provinces.

View all of Effie Triantafilopoulos's responses
Harvey Edward Anstey

Harvey Edward Anstey, Wellington - Halton Hills - Canadian Action Party (CAP)  harvey.anstey@actionparty.ca
The current approach to social housing in Canada is a total disaster. We have been doing the same thing for years and getting further behind. If we are willing to think outside the box we could introduce a form of co op where everyone would have a stake in the unit. Financing this with the Bank of Canada would allow our money to go even further. Putting policies in place to encourage well paying jobs to return to Canada will also help to reduce this problem.
View all of Harvey Edward Anstey's responses

Brent Allan Bouteiller

Brent Allan Bouteiller – Green Party of Canada  website   mail
The Green Party of Canada will implement a National Housing Strategy based on Housing First principles. Housing First is a proven, recovery-oriented approach that centres on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent, permanent housing, and then providing additional supports and services as needed. This strategy will guarantee dignity and support for Canadians at the margins of our society, and will help address homelessness while at the same time reducing the burden on our emergency and health services.
Our Housing Strategy will address the continuum of needs – from social housing for those in poverty or dealing with mental health and addiction problems, to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit housing crises, to the market failures depriving those with even a decent income of access to the affordable housing they need. We can ensure that all housing needs are met – whether seniors, youth, or the stressed middle class.
View all of Brent Allan Bouteiller's responses

Michael Chong

Michael Chong – Conservative Party of Canada
Over the last decade, the Conservative government has made significant investments into affordable housing in Halton Region.
The most recent federal budget reaffirms the Conservative commitment to ensuring low-income families and vulnerable Canadians have access to affordable housing options. Through targeted investments, Conservatives are committed to working with the provincial government and not-for-profit organizations to increase the supply, quality, accessibility and affordability of housing in Halton Region.
Conservatives are committed to spending more than $2.3 billion per year over the next four years to help ensure Canadians in need have access to affordable, sound and suitable housing. Of this amount, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will invest $1.7 billion annually to support 570,000 households that depend on social housing support. Further, the federal budget of 2013 announced $253 million per year, beginning in April 2014, to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing to March 31, 2019. Under this initiative, the Province of Ontario matches federal investments and has the flexibility to design and deliver programs that are tailored to address their local housing needs and pressures. Since the introduction of the Investment in Affordable Housing in 2011, over 205,000 households have benefitted from the initiative. The federal budget of 2013 also provided $119 million per year over five years to renew the Homelessness Partnering Strategy until 2018–19. Using a Housing First approach, support is provided to assist homeless individuals transition from shelters and the streets into stable housing. In addition to the federal investment in affordable housing, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Direct Lending activities offer low-cost loans to federally assisted social housing projects. In 2013, over $1.126 billion was provided in direct loans.
Finally, Conservatives believe that the foundation of safe, affordable, accessible housing is sound economic management. That is why Conservatives have a low-tax, balanced budget plan to protect Canada’s economy, create jobs and increase home ownership levels.
A re-elected Conservative Government would aim to add more than 700,000 new homeowners to Canada’s rolls by 2020. A re-elected Conservative Government will build on its record of supporting affordable, responsible homeownership for families by:

  • Expanding the Home Buyers’ Plan from $25,000 to $35,000 so that first-time home buyers can withdraw savings tax-free to make their down payments.
  • Maintaining the 2015 enhancement to Tax-Free Savings Accounts that allows annual contributions of up to $10,000 so that Canadians can save and invest even more of their hard-earned money tax-free.
  • Implementing the new Home Accessibility Tax Credit which provides up to $1,500 to seniors and disabled Canadians to keep their homes safe and secure.
  • Establishing a new permanent Home Renovation Tax Credit for home renovation expenses between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Collecting data on foreign buyer activity in Canada’s housing market and, as necessary, taking concrete action to address the issue in coordination with provinces.

View all of Michael Chong's responses

Don Trant – Liberal Party of Canada 
A Liberal government will make it easier for Canadians to find an affordable place to call home.
Today, one in four Canadian households is paying more than it can afford for housing – or more than the recommended limit of 30 percent of income. One in eight households cannot find affordable housing that is safe, suitable, and well maintained. And far too many Canadians are being priced out of home ownership. This places increased pressure on already crowded rental markets, and on crumbling affordable housing units.
The Harper / Chong government has refused to take federal leadership on housing, and is even in the process of ending rent-geared-to-income support for co-operatives and other social housing.
A Liberal government will:

  • Boost investment in social infrastructure by nearly $6 billion over the next four years, and almost $20 billion over ten years.
  • Renew federal leadership in affordable housing, more housing units, renewal of existing co-operative agreements and operational funding support for municipalities, including support for Housing First initiatives that help homeless Canadians.
  • Prioritize investment in early learning and child care, and cultural and recreational infrastructure.
  • Increase the new residential rental property rebate on the GST to 100 percent, eliminating all GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing.
  • Provide $125 million per year in tax incentives to increase and substantially renovate the supply of rental housing across Canada.
  • Direct the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing to support construction of new, affordable rental housing for middle- and low-income Canadians.
  • In partnership with municipalities, provinces and territories conduct an inventory of available federal lands and buildings that could be repurposed, at low cost, for affordable housing in communities with a pressing need.
  • Modernize the existing Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) to help more Canadians finance the purchase of a home.
  • Allow Canadians impacted by sudden and significant life changes, to access the HBP and use their RRSP to buy a house without tax penalty.
  • Determine if speculation is driving up the cost of housing, and survey the policy tools that could keep home ownership within reach for more Canadians.
  • Make Statistics Canada fully independent and restore the Long Form Census to ensure data-driven decision making, including on housing.

View all of Don Trant's responses