We all inherently understand the value of having access to housing.
It’s the feeling of having a place to call your own.
It’s about stability and security. A place to raise a family. A place to work or learn. The opportunity to build equity.
Last week, the Liberals voted against our Conservative Opposition Day Motion to help tackle the housing crisis.
Unfortunately, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government blocked our motion, signaling to Canadians that the Liberal government does not view the housing affordability crisis as a priority.
Across the country, there are places where a couple with a dual-income can simply no longer afford to live.
Seniors cannot afford their monthly payments, and university and college students have completely given up on ever owning property.
The average home price in Canada is $717,000.
Last year it was $606,000. That is an 18.2% increase.
To put this in perspective, back in 2015 it was $450,000.
We are seeing house prices rise in some communities across the country this year by over 20%.
Newly built homes dropped 5.2%.
We have the lowest supply of homes in the G7, with the fastest-rising house prices in the G7.
This cannot continue.
The Liberals have told us that they are going to build 100,000 new homes across this country by 2025.
Scotiabank estimated that we need at least 1.8 million new homes.
Not in four years, but right now.
Our Conservative team in Parliament has raised some solutions on what could be done, such as looking at the tremendous number of buildings and amount of land the federal government owns.
The Government of Canada currently owns 37,246 buildings and a lot of property across the country.
This is a substantial amount of property and buildings that it could immediately provide to the municipalities and provinces to help with supply.
We can go to the Treasury Board real property report and see the countless number of buildings that are in critical condition, or the land that is in areas that could really help Canadian families find a home.
This is a tangible policy solution the Liberals could implement.
Another policy suggestion is the tying of infrastructure dollars from the federal government to new housing supply.
We know the government had extreme difficulty getting infrastructure money out the door, but we are hopeful that might change.
We put forth a policy idea that was widely supported by many stakeholders and communities.
It was to ensure that we are working with the municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near funded projects.
Our real estate market is also being influenced by foreign ownership.
There are 1.3 million empty homes in Canada. The Liberal solution is to tax them 1%.
I am not confident foreign millionaires are going to stop purchasing homes in Canada due to a 1% tax.
We believe the government should implement a policy to ban new foreign ownership for those who don't live here.
These are just a few ideas to get more homes built and to stop the dramatic price increases.
The success of a federal housing strategy cannot be defined by the number of tax dollars spent, but by the number of Canadians who are able to access the home they need.
I will continue to put forward concrete ideas to ensure we can get more homes built in Canada and so that people can afford to put a roof over their heads.