What the federal parties have to say about housing

The Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens have all promised to fix Canada's housing crisis

By Grace Kennedy | September 14, 2021 |6:30 am

See the rest of our election content on our Fraser Valley Votes election hub, including riding profiles, candidate interviews, and more.

We asked candidates from each riding tough questions on how they and their party would respond to the housing affordability crisis. You can find their responses here: Cloverdale-Langley City; Langley-Aldergrove; Abbotsford; Chilliwack-Hope; Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon.

Housing is an important issue in any election—everyone needs a place to live after all. But in the Fraser Valley, housing plans are even more important, with house prices more than doubling in the last 10 years. There are twice as many people on waitlists for affordable housing now than there were five years ago, and four times as many people are now homeless in Chilliwack. (Check out our story on local housing for more.)

Every major political party is promising to increase the supply of homes in the country, although they are all going at it in slightly different ways. Most parties have also promised variations of easing mortgage rules or increasing grants for new homeowners and imposing limits on foreign homeownership.

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The Conservatives have promised to build a million new homes, although they are not guaranteeing those will be “affordable.” They say they plan to incentivize landowners to donate property for affordable housing, require municipalities who want transit money to increase density, and release 15% of the federal government’s lands for housing projects. (They haven’t been specific about what lands; in BC, most Crown land is owned by the province.) They are also proposing to relax the mortgage stress test.

The Greens said they would focus on non-profit, co-operative, and supportive housing, and would invest in the construction and operation of 50,000 supportive housing units over the next decade. They also promised to build and acquire at least 300,000 units of “deeply affordable” non-market housing over 10 years.

The Liberals are promising to “build or revitalize” 250,000 new homes over four years, saying that would be on top of the 285,000 housing units that are built countrywide each year already. The Liberals also said they would turn commercial office space into rental housing. They also are pledging to ramp up construction on the building of homes already promised in the National Housing Strategy.

The NDP are promising half-a-million affordable housing units in the next 10 years. They would do so, they say, by providing funds to help non-profits build projects, while using federal funds to make use of “unused and under-used properties.” The NDP is also promising to increase the mortgage amortization period.

Chatelaine has an even-deeper analysis of the parties’ promises, which you can read here. To learn more about each party’s housing commitments as laid out in their platforms, read the document below.

Federal Election 2021 Housing Platforms by Fraser Valley Current on Scribd

Grace Kennedy

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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