federal election

Justin Trudeau promises “real and important change”

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has been elected for a third term in an outcome that closely resembles that of the 2019 federal election. With a vow to deliver “real and important change” to Canadians, major themes on this year’s campaign trail included pandemic measures, Indigenous issues, climate change, and to a large degree, housing affordability.

Throughout recent weeks, the hot-button topic of housing has received plenty of air-time as major party leaders actively promoted the measures they would implement to address concerns, like chronic rental undersupply.  The Liberals’ platform includes:

  • a 2-year ban on foreign home buying;
  • the construction and repair of 1.4 million home units over the next four years, including conversions of underused commercial space into affordable rentals;
  • investment into Indigenous housing and senior facilities;
  • renovation tax credits to add affordable residential rental space to existing units;
  • introducing a Home Buyer’s Bill of Rights that will regulate “house-flipping” and impose surtaxes to discourage “renovictions”, among other key measures.

According to a recent report from JLL, these proposed measures are nothing new: “They reaffirm Budget 2021’s $1.3 billion funding allocations to increase the stock of affordable units through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and the Rental Construction Financing Initiative.”

It is also likely that several key federal support programs, including the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) may be extended beyond the October 23 expiry date to facilitate broader recovery gains.

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