Green Party of Canada response to Question 3

Question:  What policy changes will your party implement to increase the supply of affordable housing for all Canadians?

Question:  Does your party support providing increased and sustained federal investment to increase the supply of new affordable housing and replace aging social housing assets?

Answer:  The Green Party is committed to affordable housing. Access to affordable, safe, and secure housing is an essential prerequisite to an equitable society. However, Canada is the only country in the OECD without a National Housing Strategy. Housing crosses all jurisdictions. The Green Party will work with the Council of Canadian Governments and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive National Housing Strategy.

The National Housing Strategy will:
  • Include concrete steps for a seniors’ housing plan, a First Nations plan, a plan for social housing, and for affordable market housing;
  • Create a Housing First Approach, a one-on-one outreach initiative that houses chronically homeless people and provides immediate support;
  • Dedicate funding to the cooperative housing sector to enable more new affordable housing projects to proceed, while extending funding for coops whose contracts with the federal government are expiring;
  • Retrofit all Canadian homes by 2030 to increase energy efficiency, cut heating and electricity bills, and reduce 80% of building emissions by 2040;
  • Implement a Guaranteed Livable Income to help low-income Canadians afford housing
  • Eliminate Stephen Harper’s Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, which currently allows foreign investors to purchase Canadian properties and can drive housing prices up for Canadian families beyond their reach;
  • Increase access to social housing for First Nations on and off-reserve, while strengthening enforcement of living and maintenance standards through our proposed Council of Canadian Governments; and
  • Ensure a percentage of all newly built units are reserved for affordable housing.

The Green Party is committed to stable and adequate annual funding for the construction of new rental housing. Our target is the construction of 20,000 new and 8,000 rehabilitated affordable housing units each year for the next decade.

To support home ownership, we also support indexing the GST New Home Rebate to inflation. Inflation has eroded this rebate to the point where too many no longer qualify for a full rebate. It no longer fulfils its purpose of helping new home buyers. Buying a home is turning into a pipe dream, especially for young families. The federal government promised to do its part to help maintain affordability. It is only fair to keep that promise.

The Green Party also supports indexing the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan to the Consumer Price Index in $2,500 increments, to make sure that it remains a useful tool for people buying their first homes. We will work to ensure that mortgage amortization rates meet the needs of home buyers. We will also consider broadening the eligibility for the HBP to include individuals who have experienced a life-changing event such as the death of a spouse or marital breakdown.

Question:  Does your party support amending the Income Tax Act to eliminate the capital gains tax on donations of real property to registered public charities for the purpose of providing perpetually affordable housing?

Answer:  The Green Party will support measures like amending the Income Tax Act to eliminate the capital gains tax on donations of real property to registered charities as well as other tax measures to incentivize the creation of more affordable housing spaces.

Question:  Will your party support the FCM’s call for innovative tax incentives like the Rental Housing Protection Tax Credit to preserve existing rental units and promote construction of new rental units?

Answer:  The Green Party supports the FCM’s call for innovative tax incentives like the Rental Housing Protection Tax Credit to ensure that affordable rental housing is not lost to demolition and condo development. Greens will further seek to restore the tax advantages for developers of purpose-built rental units.

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