Canada’s most important housing policy announcement of 2024

Date:

Share post:


Housing is arguably Canada’s most important policy issue right now. From building millions of new homes, apartment buildings, and condos, to ensuring developers have all of the financing they need, governments from Iqaluit to Windsor are preoccupied with ensuring every Canadian has a home to call their own.

Over the past few months, policymakers in nearly every Canadian province and territory have tabled their annual budgets, offering a window into how policymakers are trying to address the country’s ongoing housing crisis. Canadian Mortgage Trends looked through every budget released over the past few months and pulled out the most relevant details on housing:

While provincial and territorial governments offer a lot of issue-specific housing support, such as supportive housing for seniors or people with substance use disorders, Canadian Mortgage Trends only listed housing initiatives that mostly affected residents across an entire province or territory. We made exemptions for investments aimed at homeless or under-housed residents.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Throughout its budget, Canada’s easternmost budget insisted it wouldn’t add any new taxes, raise taxes, or hike fees for any aspect of the provincial budget. For homeowners stressed about rising interest rates, that promise may come as a relief.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promised:

  • $50 million: Funding for the province’s Rental Housing Development Loan Program, aimed at giving low-interest loan financing to property developers to encourage construction.
  • $21 million: Cost-shared funding to help renters struggling to afford the private market.
  • $8 million: Additional funding to pay for repairs, maintenance, and rennovations for provincial housing.
  • $4 million: Funding to keep up the Secondary and Basement Suite Program, an initiative that provides homeowners with a forgivable loan of up to $40,000 to create an affordable home within their home.
  • $225,000: Funding to continue the First Time Homebuyers Program, a low-interest loan for low to moderate income families to meet the required down payment for their first home.

Prince Edward Island: The smallest province in Canada still managed to fund millions of dollars in housing affordability measures, as well as incentives to encourage additional construction.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promised:

  • $10 million: Launching the Community Housing Expansion Program, an initiative to build more affordable housing units and partner with non-profits and cooperatives to keep existing housing units available.
  • $6.9 million: Funding to keep providing emergency shelter, outreach, and residential services for the homeless.
  • $6.7 million: Through the Residential Unit Development Incentive Program, builders can receive tax rebates for newly constructed multi-unit residential buildings, including HST and property tax rebates. This is to encourage rental unit development.
  • $1.6 million: More funding for the PEI Housing Corportation to run newly built or bought housing units.

Nova Scotia: With one of the fastest-growing housing markets following the COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotia’s government is doing its best to encourage local housing construction and address homelessness. 

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promised:

  • $84.6 million: Funding for more supportive housing locations throughout Nova Scotia, as well as operational funding for shelters and other organizations addressing homelessness.
  • $80 million to $100 million: A 10% rebate on provincial HST charges for the construction of purpose-built, multi-unit apartments.
  • $35.3 million: The construction of new public housing units, as well as repairs and maintenance on existing housing, across Nova Scotia.
  • $14.8 million: Funding for Nova Scotia projects to leverage funding from the National Housing Strategy’s 2022-25 Action Plan
  • $11.8 million: Additional investments in modular public housing.

New Brunswick: In the face of unaffordability concerns, New Brunswick’s government boosted funding for its provincial housing corporation by over 50% compared to last year’s budget.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promised:

  • “$22 million: A “direct-to-tenant rental benefit” for families who cannot afford housing.
  • $11 million: Permanent funding in response to the provincial homelessness crisis.
  • $5.5 million: More funding through the Canada Housing Benefit to help 1,200 New Brunswick households, on top of families already assisted by the program.
  • $3 million: More funding for the Rent Bank to reduce the risk of eviction due to unpaid rent or utility bills.
  • $2.5 million: Additional money for the development and repair of rental units across New Brunswick.
  • $2.5 million: Additional funding for the province’s Regional Development Corporation to support affordable housing pre-construction work.

Quebec: Long known for its lower-than-average home prices, Quebec’s government is known for robust funding to social housing and renters:

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promised:

  • $758 million: Funding for the construction of 7,500 social and affordable housing units by 2029, funded through Quebec’s allocation from the federal Housing Accelerator Fund.
  • $240 million: Construction of roughly 4,700 new housing units, with the goal of building 23,277 units total by 2029.
  • $200 million: Continuing the Shelter Allowance Program, an initiative that pays out monthly stipends to Quebec households who spend more than 30% of their income on rent. This program’s lowest tier was originally temporary, but will now be permanent.
  • $220 million: Maintenance of Quebec’s existing social housing stock.
  • $66.7 million: Funding for the construction of 500 housing units for homeless Quebecers by 2029.
  •  $37.9 million: Additional money for the Residential Adaptation Assistance Program, which helps homeowners pay for accessibility upgrades to their homes.
  • $7.8 million: Funding to help Quebec residents who have not found housing by the usual July 1 moving date for provincial renters store or transport their belongings. 

Ontario: By 2031, Ontario hopes to build at least 1.5 million homes across the province. Much of its housing-related funding in its provincial budget is to help municipalities hit these targets.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promised:

  • $1 billion: Launch of the Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program, an initiative to help municipalities across Ontario build roads, water pipes, and other infrastructure so they can rapidly build housing.
  • $200 million: Launch of the Housing-Enabled Water Systems Fund, an initiative aimed at repairing drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. As with the Municipal Housing Infrastructure Program, the plan is to help municipalities expand their services and therefore build more housing.
  • Unclear: Ontario is allowing all municipalities to impose a tax on vacant homes. Before this announcement, only Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton were allowed to do so.
  • Unclear: Ontario is removing the 8% portion of HST paid by developers on new, purpose-built rental housing.
  • Unclear: Ontario will now allow municipalities to offer reduced municipal property tax rates on new residential rental properties.
  • Unclear: Ontario is working with the construction sector, municipalities, and Indigenous communities “on the use of modular construction and other innovative technologies so that more people can live in a home that they can afford.”

Manitoba

[source]

  • $116 million: Build at least 350 units of social and affordable housing, and repair over 3,000 units.
  • Unclear: A $1,500 ‘Homeowners Affordability Tax Credit’ (based on a home value of roughly $350,000), to help middle class Manitobans buy a home or afford mortgage payments. The budget says this credit largely offset school taxes for many homeowners. This will provide an estimated $8.6-million in additional credits in 2025.
  • $14 million: Funding to eliminate chronic homeless across Manitoba in eight years. This includes buying housing to expand affordable housing options, rent supplements to help homeless Manitobans find a place to live, money for a program to help tenants beset by pests, and funding for housing supports more broadly. 
  • $12.4 million: Modernization and improvement of Manitoba’s social housing portfolio, including repairs, as well as funding to for subsidized non-profit housing.

Saskatchewan: The provincial government prides itself on having among the lowest homeowner costs in Canada, but notes that demand for affordable housing in Saskatchewan is on the rise.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promised:

  • 83.4 million: Repairs and maintenance of Saskatchewan’s provincially owned housing units, as well as preventing and reducing vacancies. This would also help the government respond to “increasing demand for social housing,” according to the budget.
  • $21.7 million: Funding for the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation to repair, maintain, and replace provincially owned housing units.
  • $23.1-million: Expansion of homelessness and supportive housing services across Saskatchewan.
  • $16.7 million: Funding for Saskatchewan’s homelessness programs, including money for ongoing emergency shelter operations and supportive housing spaces in both Regina and Saskatchewan.
  • $2.7 million: Launch of the Secondary Suite Initiative, a provincial grant program that gives up to 35% of eligible costs to build a new secondary suite at an owner’s primary residence. The total amount is capped at a maximum of $35,000.
  • Unclear: Launch of the Saskatchewan First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit, an income tax credit of up to $1,050 on qualified homes.

Alberta: Having seen one of the highest interprovincial migration rates on record in 2023, Alberta’s government is trying to prioritize housing expansion and bring in additional tax revenue from the swathe of new homeowners who’ve decided to call Wild Rose Country home.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial budget promises:

  • 829 million: Funding for Alberta’s 10-year strategy to improve affordable housing supply and supports. Half of it will go towards the province’s goal to build 13,000 affordable housing units across the province. Other line items include maintenance of the province’s existing affordable housing portfolio, funding for housing in Indigenous communities, and funding seniors’ housing.
  • $70 million: Funding for Alberta’s Homelessness Task Force Action plan over the next three years, which includes money for hundreds of homeless shelter spaces, as well as shelter costs provincewide.
  • $45 million: Alberta is overhauling its land title charges to bring in additional government revenue. Under the new system, it’ll cost $5.00 per $5,000 of property value, and $1.50 per $5,000 of mortgage value. The money from this change, around $45 million, will go back to the government’s coffers.

British Columbia: For years, Canada’s westernmost province has been the most expensive place to afford a home. Fixing that, in the government’s view, requires not only robust investment in housing and housing starts, but also zoning changes to create denser neighbourhoods.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the provincial government promises:

  • $2.4 billion: Investments over the next three years across British Columbia to create thousands of new affordable housing units, as well as shelter space, supportive housing, and market rentals.
  • $11 million: Revenue from a new tax on the profits made from selling a residential home in B.C. within two years of buying it. According to the budget, the proceeds will go to government coffers to help build new homes in B.C.
  • $62 million: The B.C. government is increasing its threshold for a first time home buyers’ exemption from property transfer taxes. As of April, the threshold is now $835,000, with the first $500,000 exempt from property taxes, and the exemption doesn’t apply for properties valued at $860,000 or more.
  • $40 million: Newly built homes will also benefit from an exemption to property transfer taxes, with the fair market threshold now at $1.1 million. Any properties valued at over $1.15 million will not qualify for any exemptions.
  • $1 million: To encourage new construction, the B.C government now exempts purchases of new purpose built rental buildings with at least four apartments from the property transfer tax.
  • $267 million: Funding for the Renter’s Tax Credit, an initiative that provides low to moderate income households with an income-tested refundable tax credit of up to $400.
  • $3 million: A home renovation tax credit to help seniors and disabled B.C. residents pay for renovations or upgrades. This is up to a maximum of 10 % of qualifying expenses, to a maximum of $10,000.  

Yukon: While much of the attention around home values is concentrated in Ontario and British Columbia, the cost of housing in Canada’s Far North are also prohibitively high, especially for renters.

In its 2024-2025 budget, the territorial government promised:

  • $27.3 million: Funding to build more affordable homes, community housing and ‘Housing First’ projects across Yukon, as well as to replace aged units.
  •  $5.5 million: Government loans for individuals and developers to buy and build homes across the territory, and for homeowners to repair their own homes.
  • $8.3 million: Funding for rental housing development.
  • $1.2 million: Subsidies through the Canada-Yukon Housing Benefit to help Yukon renters.
  • $25.9 million: Funding to develop lots across the Yukon for housing.

Northwest Territories

As of May, the government of the Northwest Territories hasn’t released a full year budget.

Nunavut: Canada’s smallest territory by population still promised a significant amount of money to offset the cost of local housing and build new units:

In its 2024-2025 budget, the territorial government promised:

  • $157 million: Funding for new community infrastructure
  • $82.7 million: Money for public and staff housing for government workers, as well as funding to support home ownership and repair for Nunavut residents. 
  • $7.7 million: Funding to help the territory’s local housing authorities cover the costs of additional housing
  • $7.5 million: Funding to help Nunavut residents who need safe and supportive housing.
https://www.highcpmgate.com/f0c2i8ki?key=d7778888e3d5721fde608bfdb62fd997

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

USAA $200 Checking Bonus – Doctor Of Credit

Update 7/19/24: Deal is back until 12/10/24. Update 10/11/23: Deal has been extended to...

Why Shares of Five Below Stock Plummeted This Week

The stock is now off 67% from all-time highs. Shares of Five Below (FIVE 2.61%) slipped a whopping...

How to Gracefully Decline a Networking Request

Protect your time and energy — respectfully.

Book Review: Shocks, Crises, and False Alarms

Shocks, Crises, and False Alarms:...