New Democratic Party response to Question 3

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

Answer:  We need an approach that improves access to affordable housing across the housing spectrum. That’s why we have proposed to restore funding cut to affordable housing agreements, invest new money to increase the supply of affordable and market rental housing, improve services for the homeless and fixing the lack of shelters. We will continue to support the role of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to support first time home buyers. We will ensure that all federal land redevelopment projects include affordable housing and cooperative housing to increase Canada’s affordable housing supply. Tom announced that the NDP would partner with provinces and municipalities to introduce a home energy program that will retrofit 50,000 homes and 15,000 apartment units over the first 4 years to lower energy bills and create thousands of jobs.


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:  Tom Mulcair and the NDP have committed to restore investments dedicated to affordable housing and reinvest money from expiring agreements back into affordable housing in our communities for social housing operating agreements, repairs, and construction of new units. This represents $2.2 billion in public funding over the first 4 years in addition to existing federal housing commitments, and this brings federal funding level back to 1996 levels before Liberal and Conservative governments starting letting agreements expire. We will also boost funding for homelessness initiatives. Our commitment restores a cut by Conservatives and boosts the overall level of existing funding. Additionally, Tom Mulcair announced funding $40 million in funding to restore the Shelter Enhancement Program to support women and their children fleeing violence. This funding will create or renovate more than 2,100 spaces in first-stage shelters and nearly 350 spaces in transition houses.


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 NDP will introduce an Affordable Housing Act. The bill will recognize housing as a right and lead to the development of a National housing strategy that will prioritize housing for the most vulnerable in our society. The development of a National housing strategy is something that will be determined in partnership with stakeholders, provinces and municipalities. The NDP is open to reviewing tax measures that could make it easier for rental developers to reinvest their capital gains into creating more rental housing and also to encourage donations of real property to registered charities.


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 NDP will also provide $500 million in incentives for the construction of affordable and market rental housing units. The incentives are grants and loans which will allow greater access to non-profits and coops as opposed to tax credits which only benefit those who already have access to capital. It is a permanent revolving fund that reinvests loaned funding back into new housing projects.


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