All six candidates were asked: “How will you make Housing more affordable?” The term “affordable housing” is open to interpretation – does it mean that 100% of the population should be able to afford to buy a house or that no-one should have to pay more than (say) 30% of the income for housing or does it mean something else? Whatever the interpretation, there’s no doubt that the resale price of housing in Cobourg is beyond the reach of many and rental rates are steadily increasing. Is the problem “supply” or something else? And what, if anything, should governments do about it? It’s certainly a contentious issue and all candidates and their parties have solutions.
Note that the sequence for responses for this question is reverse last name alphabetical order.
David Piccini – PC Party
I firmly believe that everybody in Cobourg, and across Northumberland-Peterborough South, should have access to an affordable home. Over the past two years, affordability and housing have quickly become one of the most important issues for Ontarians. We need to make sure that our youth can afford to live in the community they grew up in.
At the end of the day, the biggest issue fueling the housing crisis is not enough homes. For this reason, the Ontario PC government has introduced legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to help build new homes in Ontario. We are fixing barriers to building new homes, while protecting health, safety, the environment, the Greenbelt, and agricultural lands.
This approach is working. Our housing supply plan helped over 100,000 new homes start construction last year, the highest in more than 30 years. We are also fighting for Ontarians who rent properties. We kept our promise to preserve rent control for existing tenants.
In order to stimulate the construction of new rental housing, our PC government announced an exemption of new units from rent control rules occupied for the first time after November 15, 2018, as well as new additions to existing buildings and new second units created after November 15, 2018.
Doug Ford and our PC government will continue to get it done by building more homes for Ontarians, making life more affordable.
Kim McArthur-Jackson – New Democratic Party
To begin making up for decades of Conservatives and Liberal governments making the housing crisis worse, NDP will take on greedy speculators, flippers and bad developers in order to cool the market.
Not only will we restore the goal of ending chronic homelessness within 10 years, we will:
- Introduce a speculation and vacancy tax on those who don’t pay taxes in Ontario and own houses they don’t live in.
- Allow municipalities to shift property taxes onto properties worth more than $2 million, and off the middle class
- Encourage construction of basement suites, laneway houses and coach houses
- Regulate short-term rentals
In addition, the NDP is going to make the market more affordable in the following ways:
- Help 311,000 households pay the rent with direct financial support;
- Bring back rent control;
- Strengthen homebuyers’ protections and help families buy a home by giving them 10 per cent of purchase price for their down payment;
- Build 100,000 new affordable homes and extend the lifespan of 260,000 existing homes;
- Build 60,000 supportive housing units;
- Update zoning rules enabling the construction of more affordable “missing middle” housing, like duplexes, triplexes and townhomes;
- Focus on best ways to restore public ownership of Ontario Hydro which will maintain reliability and improve affordability.
- Provide young people a hand-up to home ownership, by decreasing their debt load as a result of post secondary education. We will make sure all students graduate debt-free by converting loans to grants and retroactively wiping out student loan interest.
Jeff Kawzenuk – Liberal Party
- We will double the pace of home building this year and continue until we have built 1.5 million new homes.
- Create an Ontario Home Building Corporation to build all types of homes.
- We will end waitlists for both social and supportive housing.
- Ban new non-resident ownership.
- Tax empty homes.
- We will put a use it or lose it levy on speculators.
- Bring back rent control.
- Build at least 138 000 new deeply affordable homes.
- Work with municipal partners to end exclusionary zoning policies.
Vanessa Head – Ontario Party
An Ontario Party government will:
- Introduce sweeping urban-planning reform to adjust single-family zoning in Ontario’s most housing-deprived cities. In particular, property owners will be given more freedom to construct two- and four-unit residential buildings amidst neighborhoods traditionally reserved for single-family homes.
- Secure the same right to set immigration policy as the Province of Quebec and use those powers to adjust immigration rates and settlement patterns with the ultimate outcome of reducing unsupportable housing demand in many of Ontario’s urban areas.
- Establish an Ontario-focused foreign purchasing ban on residential homes.
- Strike a money laundering task force charged with rooting out corruption and instituting needed regulatory changes related to real estate sales and purchases.
Lisa Francis – Green Party
Addressing the housing affordability crisis is a top priority for the Ontario Green Party. We want to build livable and affordable communities that work for everyone – without recklessly paving over greenspace and wetlands.
Ontario needs strong, connected communities where people can live, work, play, and shop with access to the essential public services they need.
Our comprehensive housing plan, “Building Livable & Affordable Communities”, outlines the Ontario Greens’ strategy for making sure everyone has a safe, affordable, and accessible place to call home.
We will build affordable housing and protect our existing affordable supply by building 182,000 new permanently affordable community housing rental homes over the next decade, including 60,000 permanent supportive homes in partnership with public, private, and non-profit housing organisations.
Our First-time Homebuyer Support Plan will end blind bidding, increase incentives, and streamline the application process.
Ontario Greens’ will reinstate rent controls on all units to regulate annual rental increases, and limit rent increases between tenancies.
We will prioritise and speed up the development approval processes for projects led by, or in partnership with, non-profit housing providers, and provide low-interest loans through a new revolving fund.
Joshua Chalhoub – New Blue Party
Affordable housing has been top of mind for Canadians with rising costs of home ownership. It is now apparent that a shift in governmental policy reforms is needed to address the issue for the long-term. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration, key differences and challenges as they relate to rural versus urban.
Key issues that drive up housing and affordability can be attributed to construction costs in rural regions, control over land-use decisions such as zoning by-laws of new housing units. I would propose the province create innovative and long-term sustainable solutions. Partnering up with the federal government and municipalities to meet the demands of vulnerable populations with a primary focus in how we move to develop and deliver those solutions.
Partnerships must include developers and providing them incentives to build new housing in remote areas by providing subsidies for the purchase of land or provincial acquisition of land to ensure any such program can proceed. It is my opinion, that any such incentive to stimulate private sector investment in rural regions would not only help deal with the shortage of affordable housing, but also allow for municipality control in partnership with the province over these types of developments.
Financial investment by the federal government must be matched by the province to ensure that such housing projects can take off and affect some real change within rural communities addressing the housing affordability crisis. This can only be done through building relationship with all stake holders.
- Cobourg Provincial Elections Facts about the election – includes information about all-Candidates’ meetings – 3 meetings: May 20, 24 and 26
- Election Candidate Responses on Health – First question – 14 May 2022