Jane Davidson

How does your party intend to support first-time home buyers and new Canadians who are struggling to find affordable housing that meets their needs.  

Greens are poised to be a significant force in a minority government, and will be able to influence critically important housing policy going forward for first-time homebuyers and new Canadians. We see affordable housing as a basic human right and intend to introduce legislation stipulating just that for Canadians and permanent residents. We also will insist on the appointment of a Minster of Housing so that the National Housing Strategy pushes real affordable housing solutions that are unique to each province and region, working (of course) with provincial ministers. We'd make sure both new and existing housing are eligible for funding, allowing the Canadian Infrastructure Bank to fund provincial and municipal housing projects. Many housing markets are overvalued and overheated, pushing prices out of reach for aspiring homeowners. Greens think the CMHC needs a re-purposed mandate: to support the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing. We'd bump up the Canada Housing Benefit by $750 m. to give rental assistance to 125,000 households. We'd push for the restoration of tax incentives for building rental housing and tax credits for gifts of lands and buildings to community land trusts which then provide affordable housing. 

The mortgage stress test is impacting individuals and families in your riding.  What adjustment do you feel should be implemented to address the negative consequences?  

Greens believe the test should remain in place, because it it's eliminated or softened, people are encouraged to go further into debt and may create a crisis for themselves further down the road. Economic experts do not necessarily support eliminating the stress test and classify it as an election "carrot" which would only serve to further inflate the market. Canadians are already suffering under record levels of household debt and Greens do not support mechanisms that encourage Canadians and permanent residents to drive themselves further into income precarity.

Housing supply continues to be a significant issue in many markets across the country.  What should the federal government do to help with housing supply issue?  

The federal government needs to focus on safe, affordable housing supply, where the most urgent needs lie. Incentives for purpose- built housing need to be restored. They were eliminated in the mid-1970s and the fallout is visible and dramatic. The focus on home ownership is admirable but has created a situation which is out-of-balance with reality. We now have an affordable housing crisis, housing insecurity (generations doubling up and stuck in one house) and visible and invisible homelessness, which in turn stress our health care and justice systems. Elimination of the GST on new affordable housing projects would help to attract developpers into building more of the desperately needed life resource and away from expensive high-end condos. 

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