Remarks highlighting Budget 2022 investments in housing
Thank you so much, Lisa, and thank you for reminding me of that story.
You know, one of the most important things as leaders, as politicians, is to stay connected with people, and over the years, I’ve been able to travel to Hamilton and come here a number of times for great announcements, but right across the country as well where you spend time hearing about the concerns people are facing and try very much to build solutions that are going to respond to them. And that’s the work that we have to do as politicians, and there’s a lot of time for cynicism and criticism, absolutely. But at the same time, the incredible hard work done by MPs like you, Lisa, by the team we have here is first and foremost always focused on connecting with people and working with them to build a better future for themselves, for their communities.
That’s why I’m so glad to be here with the Deputy Prime Minister, with ministers Gould and Tassi and Hussen and Chad Collins as well, our local MP.
Yesterday, Chrystia presented our 2022 budget. It’s a plan to make life more affordable for Canadians and grow our economy; a plan that invests in people.
Making life more affordable for Canadians, as Lisa said, has to start with addressing housing affordability. It’s a big issue for a lot of Canadians and it’s a big issue to solve. There’s no one silver bullet that’s going to solve everything. That’s why our plan has three key pillars.
The first is helping people save to buy a home; the second is focusing on housing supply, to make sure we’re creating more homes across the country; and the third is putting an end to the speculation that is driving up housing prices unnecessarily in places like Hamilton and, quite frankly, right across the country.
Canada needs more affordable housing. When Canadians work hard and save, they should be able to afford a home. That’s certainly what Peter and Felicia did when they bought this beautiful home a few years ago. But even they’ve seen property values skyrocket since then.
For far too many families, the dream of homeownership in today’s market is simply out of reach. But that needs to change. Young Canadians deserve the opportunity to build a future in a home of their own, just as their parents were able to do before them.
I met Alaa and Ahmed earlier today who have three young children and rent their home. We talked about the challenge of home affordability and the fact that even as they’re working hard and trying to set aside some money, the growth of prices, the exponential costs of housing just get further and further out of reach, no matter how hard they work now. That’s not right. In a country like Canada, we should be able to make sure that people who work hard, who want to start a family in communities they love, should be able to find a home.
Well, we need solutions that’ll work for them, and for Pete and Felicia, and for families right across the country. Every family is facing different situations, which is why we’re putting forward a range of solutions that each of them will help.
One of the many challenges for Canadians is to be able to save enough money for a down payment. So to help people do just that for their first home, our budget introduced the new Tax Free First Home Savings Account, where people can save up to $40,000 tax free. And that’s tax free on the way in, and it’s tax free on the way out as well. Plus, we’re going to double the tax credit they get when they’ll buy their first home which means an extra $1500 in their pockets.
Making housing more affordable also means addressing the housing shortage. Canada’s population continues to grow, but the supply of housing is not keeping up. And for too long, too many governments have ignored the problem.
So we need to attack the challenge of supply. This budget puts Canada on a path to double housing construction over the next decade and that’ll mean working with the provinces, territories, municipalities, and builders. The new Housing Accelerated Fund will help municipalities, including small towns, unlock supply. We’re also investing in clean energy-efficient housing and we’re investing $4 billion to close the Indigenous housing gap.
And finally, our third pillar is in our plan to make housing more affordable by curbing speculation. When foreign investors and corporations use housing as an asset, it drives prices higher and higher and makes homes out of reach for the middle class. Homes are to live in, to raise a family and to build a life in, not a way to boost a balance sheet. So in this budget, we’re going to be banning foreign buyers for two years, curbing speculative practices, and moving forward on a home buyers’ bill of rights.
All Canadians deserve to have an affordable home. This budget gives us the tools to make a difference.
These targeted measures will help Millennials and all middle-class Canadians achieve their dream of owning a home. Budget 2022 continues our work to help build a strong recovery. Today’s historic job numbers show Canada’s unemployment rate is now at 5.3%, the lowest in decades. Our plan is working but we need to keep working to make sure that as our economy grows, it brings everyone along. I know for a lot of families it does feel like there’s a bit of a disconnect. We talk about how the job numbers are great. We talk about how the economy is growing, but they’re having trouble affording their groceries, and a dream of home ownership seems further and further out of reach.
That’s why the work