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Three actions the federal authorities can take to help housing

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Earlier this summer season, at a housing announcement in Hamilton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned that whereas housing just isn’t primarily a federal duty, it’s “one thing that we are able to and should assist with.” Provided that the federal authorities’s immigration coverage is ready to extend Canada’s inhabitants by 1.5 million individuals by 2025, thus dramatically growing housing demand, the federal government ought to certainly use the precise powers at its disposal to assist meet that demand.

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One motion the federal government can take is to help municipalities financially to construct extra infrastructure that helps housing. New properties can solely be constructed when roads, water administration methods and energy networks are in place. We can not merely depend on the event prices levied on new properties to pay for the infrastructure communities want. Frequently including prices like these to the costs of latest properties contributes to the affordability challenges that Canadians face.

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The federal authorities must also preserve its decades-old promise to index the thresholds for the GST/HST new housing rebate. In 1991, when the GST was initially launched on new properties, the typical value of a brand new house within the GTA was $250,000; as we speak, it’s $1.2 million. But the rebate thresholds stay the identical, with the federal authorities amassing almost $60,000 per housing unit in tax income. The time has come to provide a few of that cash again to the brand new house purchaser to assist with housing affordability.

Lastly, the federal government might defer the gathering of HST on purpose-built rental housing. Deferral would protect federal income whereas nonetheless serving to to speed up the constructing of latest provide on this crucial housing class. There’s precedent for this: federal tax coverage within the Seventies resulted in a golden age of purpose-built rental constructing in Canada.

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Welcoming 1.5 million new Canadians within the subsequent few years will assist make our financial system extra aggressive and our society extra dynamic. However all ranges of presidency might want to plan for a way they will meet the accompanying improve in housing demand. As the driving force of immigration coverage, the federal authorities should do its share to supply housing for newcomers and handle housing provide and affordability for all Canadians.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Constructing Business and Land Growth Affiliation (BILD), the voice of the house constructing, land improvement {and professional} renovation trade within the GTA. For the most recent trade information and new house information, go to

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