Remarks on investments in housing
Good morning, everyone. So happy to be back, back in Vancouver. This is a second home for me, as you know well, for all my years living, teaching, growing up out here. So, it’s always a pleasure to be back on a nice, beautiful Vancouver day.
I want to start by thanking Kate and Gardy for welcoming us to their home. Thank you, great to see the kids. And great to have a conversation about the challenges that so many people are facing here in the lower mainland, but quite frankly, right across the country as well; it’s a challenge around housing.
We know that housing is much more of a preoccupation for many people, as they’re trying to get into the housing market, as we’re seeing prices rise across the country, we’re seeing challenges finding that perfect home. And that’s why this government chose to make three big moves in our last budget that are going to help families across the country get into this housing market.
The first one is around savings.
We need to make sure that families can save up for a down payment, and that’s why we’ve created a First-Time Home Buyers Savings Account, which actually will save up to $40,000 tax-free on the way in, tax-free on the way out, so people can help with that first down payment. And I know for a lot of people, that’ll make a big difference.
We’re also going to move forward on increasing supply. We know the reality is there’s just not enough supply of homes out there in the country, that’s why we’re committing $4 billion to work with municipalities on the Accelerated Housing Fund, to make sure that whether it’s through density or zoning or new projects, municipalities can actually respond to the supply crisis and double the number of new housing starts across the country over the coming decade.
That’s going to be a key part, because we continue to be a growing country, we continue to welcome in people from around the world, we continue to see young people like Charles and Hudson wanting to get into the market in the coming years. They need to be able to have homes to get into.
And finally, we’re going to be curbing speculation.
We’re going to be cracking down on the unfair practices we’re seeing, whether it’s blind bidding, whether it’s the fact that we’re going to be preventing foreign home buyers from getting into the residential market for the next two years. We’re going to continue to look at ways to make sure that the market is fairer by stepping up on a Home Buyers Bill of Rights to make the situation fairer for people.
There are major challenges around housing, and that’s why we’re moving forward to curb speculation and protect the rights of buyers, to increase supply by investing $4 billion in municipalities to make sure that many more houses are built in the coming years. And helping people save up to $40,000 with our tax-free savings account to help them buy their first home.
There are many other issues we’re working on, but I know this is a frequently recurring issue, especially here in Vancouver, where there are so many challenges around housing.