The 2019 federal election provides all political parties with an opportunity to unlock the door to homeownership. They can play a key role by supporting policies that will improve housing affordability. This is your opportunity to pay attention to platform measures that will affect homeownership and renting.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) put forward recommendations on how the next government can can unlock the door to homeownership and improve housing affordability, while also making smart environmental choices. The following is a high-level summary of how each party is responding to some of those recommendations in their platforms.

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CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Reintroduce 30-year amortizations for insured mortgages taken on by well-qualified first-time homebuyers

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP LogoGreen Party Logo
Not adoptedAdoptedAdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date.What it has proposed: To increase amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30-years for first-time homebuyers. What it has proposed: To re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages for entry-level homes for first-time home buyers. What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date.
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How to get to a five-homes rating: Recognize that many well-qualified, locked-out first-time buyers would be able to buy a home with a 30-year amortization. Read more here.How to get to a five-homes rating: Support the re-introduction of 30 year mortgage amortizations for well qualified first time buyers. Read more here.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Use shared equity mortgages to provide a hand-up into homeownership for those requiring housing assistance.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP LogoGreen Party Logo
Partially Adopted Not Adopted
What it has proposed: Adopted (essentially as an alternative to 30-year amortization periods for first-time buyers) but for families with incomes up to $120k as a broad affordability measure, rather than for those requiring housing assistance. Maximum mortgage of $480k, $720k in Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria. What it has proposed: Not Adopted – in fact, if elected, the party would eliminate the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive.
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How to get to a five-homes rating: Recognize that a shared-equity mortgage is not the whole solution to housing affordability, and that 30-year mortgages for first-time buyers are still needed as well to unlock the door to more well-qualified buyers.How to get to a five-homes rating: Support shared equity mortgages along side broader mortgage rule changes.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Adjust the stress test to better align it with current market conditions by making it a declining rate stress test based on the mortgage term.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP LogoGreen Party Logo
Not AdoptedAdoptedPartially AdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date.What it has proposed: Committed to fix the mortgage stress test to better support first-time homebuyers. Also committed to work with OSFI to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals. What is has proposed: Open to a review of the stress test to understand the full impact and consequences for first time homebuyers.What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date.
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How to get to a five-homes rating: Commit to working with OFSI to adjust the mortgage stress test by replacing the current universal 2% with a declining rate stress test based on the mortgage term.How to get to a five-homes rating: Commit to adjusting the stress test to better reflect market conditions.How to get to a five-homes rating: Commit to adjusting the stress test to better reflect market conditions.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Support and invest in a permanent renovation tax credit, using the EnerGuide Rating System, to address emissions in the existing housing market.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP LogoGreen Party Logo
Partially Adopted through loansPartially AdoptedPartially AdoptedPartially Adopted
What it has proposed: Retrofit 1.5 million homes, over the next five years. Provide free energy audits. Offer up to $40 000 in interest-free loans to implement results of the audits. What it has proposed: Create a two-year Green Homes Tax Credit (GHTC) for homeowners to help pay for energy-saving retrofits. What it has proposed: Work with provinces and territories to fund retrofits on social housing and government buildings, aiming to retrofit all stock by 2050. Make low-interest loans available. What it has proposed: Launch an energy efficiency retrofit of residential, commercial and institutional buildings. Provide direct grants, zero-interest loans and repayments based on energy/cost savings.
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How to get to a five-homes rating: Introduce a permanent renovation tax credit to address emissions in the existing housing market. How to get to a five-homes rating: Make the tax credit permanent.How to get to a five-homes rating: Focus on developing programs that also address broader housing by introducing a permanent tax credit to incent retrofits. How to get to a five-homes rating: Support their ambitious objectives by introducing a permanent tax credit to incent voluntary retrofits.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: The federal government must work with provinces and municipalities to increase market-rate housing supply.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP LogoGreen Party Logo
Not AdoptedPartially AdoptedNot AdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: The Liberal government has identified supply as an issue, undertaken studies, and created advisory groups on the issue.What it has proposed: Would make surplus federal real estate available for development to increase the supply of housing. What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date. What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date.
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How to get to a five-homes rating: Undertaking studies is a good first step, but all parties must commit to federal leadership to drive market-rate housing supply. How to get to a five-homes rating: Making surplus lands available is a good first step, but all parties must commit to federal leadership to drive market-rate housing supply. How to get to a five-homes rating: All parties must commit to federal leadership to drive market-rate housing supply. How to get to a five-homes rating: All parties must commit to federal leadership to drive market-rate housing supply.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Exempt the construction costs of new purpose-built rental housing and rental renovations from GST. Defer capital gains and recaptured depreciation deduction when the proceeds of a sale of rental units is invested in new purpose-built rental.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP LogoGreen Party Logo
Not AdoptedNot AdoptedNot AdoptedPartially Adopted
What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date. What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date. What it has proposed: No specific commitment to date. What it has proposed: Restore tax incentives for purpose-built rental.
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How to get to a five-homes rating: Support tax changes that will incent purpose-built rental. How to get to a five-homes rating: Support tax changes that will incent purpose-built rental. How to get to a five-homes rating: Support tax changes that will incent purpose-built rental. How to get to a five-homes rating: Be specific about the tax changes that will truly incent purpose-built rental.

CHBA’S RECOMMENDATION: Move towards Net Zero Ready on a voluntary basis, invest more in R&D for innovative affordable solutions, and ensure affordability for consumers is an objective when increasing energy efficiency in code.

Liberal Party LogoConservative Party LogoNDP LogoGreen Party Logo
Partially AdoptedPartially AdoptedNot AdoptedNot Adopted
What it has proposed: Net Zero Ready in code by 2030. Provide Net Zero Homes Grant of up to $5000 to support buyers of newly built certified zero emissions homes.What it has proposed: Establish a voluntary net-zero ready building standard. What it has proposed: Through the National Building Code, ensure that by 2030 every new building constructed is Net Zero ready. What it has proposed: Change the national building code to require new construction to meet net-zero emission standards by 2030 and work with the provinces to enact it.
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How to get to a five-homes rating: $5000 is a good start but does not cover the cost of net zero, which is much too expensive to codify until affordable solutions are available. Do not regulate until technology is affordable. Support voluntary measures (including investment in R&D) to accelerate innovation and implement energy efficiency code changes as affordable solutions for consumers are available. How to get to a five-homes rating: Supporting voluntary measures are a positive step toward improving energy efficiency without damaging affordability. Invest in R&D to accelerate innovation and implement energy efficiency code changes as affordable solutions for consumers are available. How to get to a five-homes rating: Do not regulate until technology is affordable. Support voluntary measures (including investment in R&D) to accelerate innovation and implement energy efficiency code changes as affordable solutions for consumers are available. How to get to a five-homes rating: Do not regulate until technology is affordable. Support voluntary measures (including investment in R&D) to accelerate innovation and implement energy efficiency code changes as affordable solutions for consumers are available.