CREA represents REALTORS® on Parliament Hill, a credible voice in the nation’s capital advocating on behalf of homeowners.
Middle-class families, millennials and new Canadians have found it increasingly difficult to buy their first home, but ambitions of homeownership remain strong despite the barrier of affordability. With this in mind, CREA has consistently advocated for policy and regulation that allows more Canadians to enter the housing market and enjoy the benefits of settling into a home that is truly their own.
CREA’s recent lobbying efforts have successfully made housing a focal point of the federal government’s public policy initiatives.
The Homeownership Dividend for Canadians
The Canadian government has supported and promoted homeownership as part of its overall housing policy for more than 85 years. The purpose of this white paper is to provide a summary of this research and scholarship for Canadian policymakers. In particular, the goal is to draw on Canadian and international data and evidence to paint a picture of the financial and non-financial benefits of homeownership for individuals, households, and communities.
Expansion of the Home Buyers’ Plan
The Home Buyers’ Plan’s (HBP) withdrawal limit has been raised from $25,000 to $35,000, allowing greater access to one’s own savings to purchase a home. Eligibility for the HBP has also been expanded to those undergoing significant life changes, such as marital breakdown. To date, the HBP has helped over 2.9 million Canadians buy their first home.
First-Time Home Buyer Incentive
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive allows Canadians to purchase a home and lower their monthly payments by sharing the cost of the mortgage with the Government. The Incentive provides a 5% to 10% equity share in the purchase price of the property to eligible home buyers. The government has committed to expanding eligibility for the program to include Canadians in more expensive markets, including Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria.
Mortgage Rate Stress Test
The Government has committed to making the test more dynamic and has begun to take steps to put changes in place. This commitment will ensure Canadians can responsibly access housing while also ensuring the stability of the economy.
Housing Supply Challenge
Budget 2019 created the Housing Supply Challenge to incentivize municipalities and stakeholders to propose innovative ways to lower barriers to the creation of new housing supply. The Challenge has potential to encourage the creation of new homes, ultimately making housing more affordable, and helping more Canadians achieve homeownership.