Charest commits to an ambitious, cooperative, and actionable plan to solve the housing crisis

May 4, 2022, Ottawa, Ontario – Today, the Jean Charest campaign released its Building the Canadian Dream Plan to address the housing crisis and help all Canadians achieve homeownership. For generations, Conservatives have believed buying a home is a key part of the Canadian Dream, but today too many Canadians, especially Indigenous families, new Canadians, low-income families, and millennials have been completely shut out of the housing market.

“The cost of housing has doubled since Trudeau took office and his government refuses to acknowledge that this is a crisis,” said Jean Charest. “We have grown adults still living at home with their parents – not because they want to but because they can’t afford a home. We need to boost our housing supply and bring greater fairness to the market.”

To tackle this generational housing crisis and make the Canadian Dream a reality for all Canadians, immediate, ambitious, and cooperative engagement across all levels of government is necessary. A Jean Charest Conservative government will call a National Housing Summit with Premiers, rural and urban municipal leaders, and Indigenous leaders to address the housing crisis. Homeownership should not be available only to a privileged few. All Canadians deserve the opportunity to achieve homeownership.

“Existing policies unfairly block families from the housing market. Indigenous communities are particularly underserved by the existing housing supply. Indigenous leaders have long advocated for the activation of a “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” housing strategy but continue to be ignored by the Trudeau Liberals,” Mr. Charest added.

Highlights of Charest’s robust Building the Canadian Dream plan include:

  • Massively increasing housing supply through a series of initiatives including but not limited to, tying infrastructure funding to significant densification near new transit built with federal funds; matching federal affordable housing grants to municipalities streamlining and speeding up their permitting process including firm approval timelines; allowing investors to defer capital gains if profits from rental housing are invested in further rental housing; reviving the Multi-Unit Rental Building (MURB) tax incentive program to encourage massive new investments in affordable rental housing, and making surplus government land available to home builders.
  • Making the home office tax credit permanent and increasing it to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Boosting the skilled construction workers’ labour market by creating new immigration pathways and eliminating payroll taxes on any new apprentices in construction fields.
  • Enacting a “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” housing strategy led by Indigenous leaders.
  • Ensuring that mortgage qualifications and stress tests do not unfairly discriminate against small business owners, gig workers, and self-employed Canadians.

Details of the policy are available in the backgrounder below.

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Media Contact: Laurence Tôth, Press Secretary 581-305-4501 media@jeancharest.ca

BACKGROUNDER – BUILDING THE CANADIAN DREAM

For generations, buying a home has been a key part of the Canadian Dream. It’s been central to wealth creation and building a middle class that can look forward to a better economic future. To make the Canadian Dream a reality for all and tackle this generational crisis, immediate and ambitious action is required.

Once elected, a Jean Charest Conservative government will act swiftly to implement a Building the Canadian Dream Plan that focuses on:

  • Increasing housing supply by:
    • Tying infrastructure funding to significant densification near new transit built with federal funds.
    • Matching federal affordable housing grants to municipalities streamlining and speeding up their permitting process including firm approval timelines.
    • Funding e-permitting software solutions and staff training to digitize the planning process, allowing municipalities to further shorten planning timelines.
    • Reviving the Multi-Unit Rental Building (MURB) tax incentive program for all new multi-residential rental developments to encourage massive new investments in affordable rental housing.
    • Allowing investors to defer capital gains if profits from rental housing are invested in further rental housing.
    • Allowing the federal portion of the HST on new housing to be spread over 5 years.
    • Tasking the Minister of Housing with a full review of the Federal Government’s 37,000 properties and making surplus land available for affordable housing development.
  • Making the home office tax credit permanent and increasing it to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Getting the skilled construction workers, we need by:
    • Creating new immigration pathways and expanding the provincial nominee program for skilled labour in construction fields.
    • Eliminating payroll taxes on any new apprentices in construction fields.
  • Creating national standards for the data collection on key housing statistics and undertaking a ‘cost of doing business study for all major cities in Canada.
  • Enacting a “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” housing strategy for Indigenous Communities who have long asked for one and who have been ignored by the Trudeau Liberals.
  • Ensuring that mortgage qualifications and stress tests do not unfairly discriminate against small business owners, gig workers, and self-employed Canadians.
  • Creating a beneficial ownership register for all residential properties to keep money laundering and dirty money out of our real estate market.
  • Calling a National Housing Summit with the Premiers, rural and urban municipal leaders, and indigenous representatives to address the housing crisis, as solving these immense challenges will require cooperation across all levels of government.