Everyone should have a safe and affordable place to call home.
But that goal—one that was taken as a given for previous generations—is increasingly out of reach for far too many Canadians. Young people cannot imagine being able to afford the house they grew up in. Foreign investors and speculators are buying up homes that should be for Canadians to own. Rents in our major cities continue to climb, pushing people further and further away from where they work.
All of this has an impact on our economy, too. In cities and communities across the country, a lack of affordable housing makes it more difficult to attract the workers that businesses need. Increasing our housing supply will make Canada more competitive in the global race for talent and investment. It will help make sure that our economy can continue to grow in the years to come.
Budget 2022 proposes to deliver more than $72 billion in financial support through the National Housing Strategy, in addition to other measures that will make housing more affordable. Actions underway since 2015 include:
- More than $42 billion in federal support for the construction and repair of rental housing, affordable housing, and shelters;
- More than $15 billion in joint funding with provinces and territories, including for the Canada Housing Benefit to provide direct rent assistance;
- More than $11 billion in support for community and social housing;
- More than $2.7 billion in distinctions-based support for housing in Indigenous communities;
- More than $3 billion for Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, and a commitment to eliminate chronic homelessness by 2030; and,
- Tabling legislation that would implement Canada’s first national vacant housing tax on non-Canadian, non-resident owners.
Budget 2022 also announces several different programs to promote greener affordable housing units that decarbonize and achieve Canada’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
To protect Canadian buyers and renters, Budget 2022 proposes to end blind bidding, review corporation acquisition of large portfolios of residential housing, ban foreign investment in Canadian housing, and make property flippers pay their fair share.
Lastly, Canadians can look forward to new tax credits for housing. Budget 2022 proposes to introduce the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account that would give prospective first-time home buyers the ability to save up to $40,000. Like an RRSP, contributions would be tax-deductible, and withdrawals to purchase a first home—including investment income— would be non-taxable, like a TFSA (tax-free in, tax-free out). Moreover, Budget 2022 proposes to introduce a Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit, which would provide up to $7,500 in support for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability.