Monday, May 20th, 2024

Trudeau lays out housing plan in visit to Hamilton

Ottawa wants to allow rent payment history to count towards credit scores

In 2006, the average Hamilton home sold for $217,800.

Today, that number is north of $818,300.

What’s to blame?

If you ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who fielded the question Friday while visiting Hamilton, unaffordable housing in this country is due to a faltering global economy, a once-in-a-century pandemic, soaring inflation, labour shortages and ill-advised decisions from past governments.

“There’s something wrong with the way the (housing) system has evolved,” Trudeau said at Mohawk College with dozens of students in attendance. “The question Canadians should ask themselves is who’s going to fix that system? Who has a plan to fix that system?”

Trudeau claimed it’s his own government, touting the Liberals’ recently announced budget as a path forward to make life more affordable for those at the centre of the spiralling housing crisis: young Canadians.

“(This) crisis is best defined by the fact that these young people, who are working incredibly hard, don’t have the same opportunities that Canadians in their position just 20 years had to be able to buy a home,” Trudeau said, pointing to Mohawk students behind him.

Among the measures the federal government is proposing to bridge that gap include:

  • Increasing the withdrawal on the Home Buyers’ Plan — which allows you to take money out of your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to make a down payments on a home — from $35,000 to $60,000;
  • Extending the grace period for RRSP withdrawal payments from two years to up to five;
  • Banning foreign purchases of Canadian properties for another two years;
  • Allowing rent payment history to count toward credit scores;
  • And launching a $50 million enforcement fund to crack down on short-term rental operators who don’t comply with provincial and municipal laws.

“Our fiscal capacity is constrained and that’s why when any level of government comes to the table with assistance … it makes a big difference for us locally,” Mayor Andrea Horwath said of....[READ MORE]

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