Advertisement

O’Toole eyes housing crisis with million home pledge, foreign investment freeze

Click to play video: 'Canada election: Conservatives pledge to build 1 million affordable homes in 3 years if elected' Canada election: Conservatives pledge to build 1 million affordable homes in 3 years if elected
Canada election: Conservatives pledge to build 1 million affordable homes in 3 years if elected – Aug 19, 2021

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole is zeroing in on the housing crisis, pledging to build a million homes in three years and raise barriers to foreign investors.

On a quiet cul-de-sac in Ottawa, O’Toole said the supply of homes, including rental, has lagged behind the country’s growing population and that investors abroad are parking their cash in Canadian residential properties, prompting a “housing crisis.”

“All of this throws up barriers to young families looking for more space for their kids, people who found a good job and want to buy their first home and retired empty-nesters trying to downsize, none of whom can find the home they need,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Housing affordability emerging as key issue in federal election campaign' Housing affordability emerging as key issue in federal election campaign
Housing affordability emerging as key issue in federal election campaign – Aug 19, 2021

Read more: Here’s what’s different about this year’s federal election in Canada

Story continues below advertisement

In their platform, the Tories outline plans to create one million homes in the next three years by repurposing some federal buildings, banning foreign investors who live outside the country from buying property for at least two years and making changes to the mortgage stress test.

The party wants to release 15 per cent of federally owned buildings into the housing market, explore converting office space to housing and allow developers to defer capital gains taxes if they reinvest in rental properties.

“Our housing plan is comprehensive and it will be effective,” O’Toole said. “It will give all Canadians a chance to build the life they dream of, to live on a street with good neighbours.”

Click to play video: 'Tories unveil election platform, post-pandemic recovery plan' Tories unveil election platform, post-pandemic recovery plan
Tories unveil election platform, post-pandemic recovery plan – Aug 16, 2021

New Democrat Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party would build 500,000 homes and make housing affordable for Canadians, including rental prices, noting that one-in-three residents are renters.

Story continues below advertisement

Heftier personal savings, house-obsessed millennials and historically low interest rates during the COVID-19 pandemic have conspired to send residential prices soaring amid a dire shortage of units, and threaten to boost rents when provincial freezes thaw.

The Canadian Real Estate Association says the average home-sale price in Canada rose 26 per cent year-over-year in June to $679,000, with sales activity up by 14 per cent.

Sponsored content