Federal Government Releases “Canada’s Housing Plan”

On April 12, 2024, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities of Canada, released “Canada’s Housing Plan”, an ambitious action plan aimed at addressing Canada’s housing crisis and making housing more affordable. This extensive plan outlines the multi-pronged approach and extensive list of measures geared towards increasing housing supply, helping Canadians rent or buy a home, construction innovation, and protecting consumers.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recognizes some of these measures potentially involve provincial and municipal governments, and will consult with boards and associations including LSTAR, and work together to understand possible impacts. 

In its plan, the government proposes to increase housing supply by:

  • Introducing an Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for apartments.
  • Expanding the removal of federal taxes (GST) for rental housing.
  • Increasing the annual limit for Canada Mortgage Bonds.
  • Providing low-cost loans to build apartments for the middle-class.
  • Making the Apartment Construction Loan Program easier and faster to use.
  • Launching Canada Builds, a team Canada approach to building affordable homes for the middle class, including on under-utilized public lands across the country.
  • Building homes on top of shops and businesses.
  • Launching a Historic Public Lands for Homes Plan.
  • Modernizing housing data.
  • Offering low-cost financing for homeowners to add additional suites.
  • Further incentivizing density to existing homes.
  • Investing in Indigenous housing and infrastructure.
  • Supporting Indigenous people living away from their communities in urban, rural, and Northern areas.
  • Helping municipalities legalize housing and streamline approvals.
  • Attaching housing conditions on public transit funding.
  • Building the necessary infrastructure to support growing communities.
  • Leveraging the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
  • Implementing an industrial strategy for home building.
  • Introducing a standardized housing design catalogue.
  • Scaling up new tech to build new homes.
  • Investing in new approaches to home building.
  • Providing low-cost loans to prefabricated housing projects.
  • Simplifying the way that Canada builds homes.
  • Making building codes digital.
  • Training the next generation of skilled trades workers.
  • Improving labour mobility to connect more people to opportunity.

The government proposes to make it easier for Canadians to rent or buy a home by: 

  • Launching a Tenant Protection Fund.
  • Creating a new Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights.
  • Leveraging rental payment history to improve credit scores.
  • Extending mortgage amortizations for first-time buyers buying newly built homes.
  • Strengthening the Canadian Mortgage Charter.
  • Leveraging the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account.
  • Increasing the Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawal limit
  • Extending the grace period to repay Home Buyers’ Plan withdrawals.
  • Making home cheaper to heat, and easier on the environment.
  • Helping municipalities enforce regulations limiting short-term rentals.
  • Removing tax deductions for certain short-term rental operators.
  • Extending the ban on foreign home buyers.
  • Combatting mortgage fraud.
  • Cracking down on real estate fraud.
  • Confronting the financialization of housing. 

The government proposes to help Canadians who can’t afford a home by: 

  • Providing $1 billion for the Affordable Housing Fund to build affordable homes.
  • Launching a new Rapid Housing Stream.
  • Making the Affordable Housing Fund easier to use.
  • Launching a $1.5-billion Canada Rental Protection Fund.
  • Launching a new Co-operative Housing Development program.
  • Keeping non-profit and co-op homes affordable.
  • Introducing more supports to address homelessness.
  • Reducing homelessness faster.
  • Addressing encampments and unsheltered homelessness.
  • Ending homelessness for veterans in Canada.
  • Sheltering asylum claimants.
  • Funding culturally relevant services, shelter and transitional housing. 

“Canada’s Housing Plan” is an extremely ambitious plan. LSTAR has joined with CREA in advocating for the federal government to take a leadership approach in solving the housing crisis, and work together with provinces, territories, municipalities, stakeholders, and housing industry partners to address these issues for years. Many measures announced today reflect positions REALTORS® have been supporting as part of our ongoing advocacy efforts. We are pleased with the federal government’s renewed focus on housing and encouraged by the scope and ambition of the measures announced today. READ MORE ABOUT "CANADA'S HOUSING PLAN" HERE.

Stay tuned for CREA's review of the legislative details that will be articulated in the 2024 Federal Budget on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. We will share updates as they become available.