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January 21st, 2019

Jagmeet Singh: Let’s Build Half a Million Affordable Housing Units

BURNABY – On Monday, Jagmeet Singh challenged Justin Trudeau to take immediate action to combat the housing crisis and bring relief to Canadians across the country. The NDP Leader announced the first part of his plan to build half a million affordable housing units over the next decade starting with the removal of the federal tax on the building of new affordable housing in the upcoming federal budget.

“Year after year, the Trudeau government keeps telling Canadians to wait for action on housing. Meanwhile they give billions in corporate tax giveaways and spend billions more on a pipeline,” said Singh. “If we make different choices we can bring relief to Canadians and build half a million new affordable housing units. Mr. Trudeau calls the housing situation a crisis; it’s time he starts acting like it.”

The proposal to spur private investment in affordable housing by removing the GST (or federal portion of the HST) from the cost of building new affordable housing units, did appear in the Liberals’ 2015 platform – but more than three years later they’ve taken no action. Singh also proposed giving low income renters immediate relief and help to first-time homebuyers with closing costs by doubling the Home Buyer’s tax credit. These are in addition to the NDP’s previous demand that the Trudeau Liberals fast-track direct investment into cooperative and non-market housing before the next election.

“Various governments have neglected the housing crisis or made things worse by cutting our housing programs. If we take bold action we can turn things around but it means we need to use every tool in our tool box, starting right away,” added Singh. “I’m challenging Mr. Trudeau to use the upcoming budget to spur the creation of affordable housing, provide immediate relief to renters and keep the dream of someday owning a home alive. Everyone in Canada should have a safe and affordable place to call home.”
“I have three pre-teen boys. As a nurse at one of the long term care facilities in Burnaby, I chose night shifts so that I can take my boys to school. With car payments, car insurance, student loans, groceries for my boys who are always going to the fridge for food, some days I’m not sure how we’ll make it,” said single mom, Farrah Eunice Gavina. “The co-op waiting list is years long, there are so few options for affordable housing. Investments many years from now don’t help me and my boys, we need help now.”