Access to property: liberals aim to “millénariaux”

Accès à la propriété: les libéraux visent les «millénariaux»

OTTAWA — The federal minister of Finance maintains that the liberal government is looking for ways to make buying a home more affordable for Canadians of the “millennial generation”.

At the end of a speech Tuesday in suburban Toronto, Bill Morneau was asked about what Ottawa was planning to do to help first-time buyers to access the property, against a background of rising interest rates.

The housing should be an issue of campaign for the federal elections of October and the main political parties have already started to position themselves.

Mr. Morneau said on Tuesday that since his arrival in power in 2015, the liberal government had focused on three major issues related to housing : the shortage of affordable housing in Canada, the soaring prices of real estate in certain markets and the guarantee that the millénariaux can buy their home.

The minister argued that Ottawa had already adopted measures to increase the supply of affordable housing and to ease the “market hot” – including Toronto and Vancouver, presenting simulations of a crisis aimed at limiting the possibility of taking out mortgage too high for her means.

“The central part – the large central part – is affordable housing for the millennial generation,” said Mr. Morneau, who will publish his budget for the election year in the coming weeks. This budget statement will also include the commitments of the liberal platform.

“It is a real challenge, and we look at many things to think about how we can help in this regard.”

Mr. Morneau did not specify what options were on the table. A spokesman for the minister refused to provide more details.

The rise in prices in some markets has sparked concern among young Canadians, who hope to borrow money to buy a house.

Where Mr. Morneau participated in an event, in Aurora, a town located approximately 50 kilometres north of Toronto, the real estate price has climbed about as fast as everywhere else. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average price of all types of homes was from $ 810 000 in December. The individual houses are displayed to more than 918 000 $.

The opposition is positioned

The conservative member of parliament Karen Vecchio said Tuesday in a press release that the policies of the Trudeau government, including its carbon tax, made housing less affordable.

“The policies of Justin Trudeau make life more expensive for Canadians, pushing their dream of owning a home more far,” said Mrs. Vecchio.

On Monday, the leader of the New democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, has proposed initiatives that would contribute to the construction of 500,000 new affordable housing units in Canada over the next ten years.

Mr. Singh gave few details, but he suggested to stop applying the GST to the cost of the construction of new affordable housing, to subsidize tenants who spend more than 30 % of their incomes on housing and double the tax credit for first-time home buyers, so that it goes from 750 to 1500 $.

Strategy of the liberals

In the fall of 2017, the liberals have unveiled a national housing strategy for $ 40 billion over ten years, presented by the government as a plan to increase the number of social housing and affordable rental housing.

It was designed to be the inventory of affordable housing in Canada and, in the long term, providing direct benefits to tenants in order to reduce the number of Canadians who remain or who become homeless. The government has insisted on the fact that this approach would also help to make homes more affordable in markets such as Vancouver by providing young Canadians with rental options more affordable, where there is little.

In their electoral programme in 2015, the liberals have also promised to improve the popular home buyers ‘ Plan to the property, which allows first-time buyers to borrow up to $ 25,000 in their retirement savings saved for use in the purchase of a home. The amount must be repaid within 15 years.

But the liberals do not seem to be in no hurry to follow through on their commitment, which would allow Canadians affected by major events of their life – the death of a spouse, divorce, or support an elderly parent to dip into their RRSPS to help with the purchase of a home.

According to internal documents obtained by The canadian Press under the Law on access to information, the liberals had expressed doubts about this idea, since they were afraid to throw oil on the fire in the situation of real estate markets.

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