Jordan Boswell

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.  

One of the most common issues I am hearing at the doors is how unaffordable the housing market is in our community. First-time homebuyers are among the groups who are struggling the most. The reality is, we lack sufficient affordable options, which is increasingly making the dream of owning a home more and more unattainable (and just renting is now becoming more challenging).

During the last election, we heard a lot of rhetoric around making housing more affordable but have not seen the necessary action to address the problem. New Democrats have a plan to build half-a-million units of affordable housing units across Canada, which give first-time homebuyers the opportunity to enter the market. These units will consist of co-operative and non-market units, which will regulate price and ensure accessibility. We have also committed to doubling the Home Buyer’s tax credit, which will provide additional relief.

At the end of the day, people who are entering the housing market want to stay in their community – close to family and friends, work, and other recreational services – but are unable to without the necessary investments. Here in Brampton, the five Liberal MPs we elected in 2015 were unable to secure the necessary support, and our first-time homebuyers are paying the price.

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?  

The stress test is something that is impacting many in our communities, and as a party we are open for it to be reviewed. At the end of the day, it must be used as a tool that regulates the price of housing and helps buyers. But as it stands, the tougher standards that are in place have driven buyers to pursue cheaper options. As we have seen, this has a cyclical impact as the cost of lower-end homes are not only inflated, but it has also had a significant impact on the rental market as well.

One of the main policies New Democrats are putting forward to stop this cycle is to re-introduce the 30-year mortgage term on entry level homes for first time buyers. By distributing payments over a longer period of time, buyers are able to make lower payments and increase their chances to qualify. In many instances, this policy change may push some potential buyers over the stress test. Especially for first-time buyers, we believe this will allow for easier access to the market, and give them a better chance to sustain the payments throughout the duration of their mortgage.

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 hasn’t taken the necessary action to keep-up with the problem of housing supply, which has left many Canadians unable to find a place to call home. What should be even more frustrating for people in our community is that the federal government has acknowledged Canada is facing a housing crisis, but have withheld the majority of funding until after this election. If something has reached the level of being a crisis, Canadians deserve their government to take immediate action.

New Democrats have put forward a plan to immediately begin investing in the construction of half-a-million units of affordable housing across Canada, with the project to be completed over ten years. This is the type of bold action communities like ours needs, and it’s something that has done before. We saw significant investments in housing following the Second World War, and in the 1970s. It’s a matter of priority, and unfortunately, hasn’t been something our current government has taken seriously. We know how impactful the housing crisis is, and we’re ready to take action to address it.

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