In parts of Hamilton East–Stoney Creek, seniors on fixed incomes and young families risk losing their housing because of higher rents. People are even moving out of their neighbourhoods because they can’t afford to stay. Seniors, young families and others need help with renting and buying homes and the NDP has key proposals to alleviate our housing crisis.
- Create half a million units of quality, affordable housing within a decade
There is an urgent need for more affordable rental housing across the country. That’s why we are calling for the creation of 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next ten years, with half of that done within five years, ramping up beginning immediately.
- Give low-income renters help now
We need to immediately help families that are struggling to stay in their homes today. That’s why we will provide direct financial help to low-income renters right now, and to make help available to more families that need it.
Our goal is to ensure that people with low incomes are not spending more than 30% of their income on housing – there are over 1.7 million households across Canada in core housing need in 2016. We will be announcing a bold and detailed plan during the campaign to deliver increased assistance to people in housing need, including those living in social housing, those on a social housing wait-list, and those housed in the private market but struggling to make ends meet.
- Remove GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units
This change will help spur the building of affordable units across Canada, as well as create good paying local constructions jobs, establish certainty for planning the construction of new rentals, and provide savings that can be reinvested locally to build more units.
- Re-introduce CMHC-insured 30-year mortgages
The majority of renters want to own a home, yet too many feel they will never be able to. It’s time to re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry level homes for first time home buyers. This will allow for smaller monthly payments, freeing up funds to help make ends meet for young families. Depending on the price of a home, a 30-year mortgage could reduce monthly mortgage payments by $200 on a mid-range condo in Hamilton. Homeowners would be free to move to a shorter 25-year term when they refinance. This measure will have the additional benefit of helping unblock affordable rental stock for many Canadians.
- Help first-time homebuyers with closing costs
To give people a hand when they buy their first home, we would double the Home Buyer’s tax credit to $1,500.
- Kick-start the construction of co-ops and non-profit housing
For decades, governments in Ottawa have failed to build new co-op and non-profit housing. We’re calling on the government to carve out dedicated fast-start funds to streamline the application process and help communities get the expertise and assistance they need to get co-op and non-profit housing off the ground now, not years from now.
- Make it easier to buy a home as a group
With housing prices out of reach for many Hamiltonians in the neighbourhoods where they want to live, more and more people are looking for alternatives that combine purchasing power and build community. Co-housing can be very rewarding for many, from younger buyers starting out to seniors looking for greater companionship.
Unfortunately, many financial institutions are reluctant to invest in co-ownership. We would provide resources to facilitate co-housing, such as model co-ownership agreements and connections to local resources, and to ease access to financing by offering CMHC-backed co-ownership mortgages.
These housing measures will bring some immediate relief to people struggling to find and stay in the housing they want and helps create a Better Hamilton for all of us.