Finally, we arrive at the New Democrat Party of Canada (the NDP). The little engine that could for Canada. Although the furthest this party has gone has been the official opposition, they are definitely a party to be considered.
The NDP share more of a government down approach than the Liberal Party but are built from the ground up from cities and towns where the needs of the individuals have been overlooked by Ottawa.
So in our final installment of a special Breakdown looking at the three major parties' approach to housing, we end with the NDP and their approach to our housing needs.
As always, if you are new, welcome! I'm Aly. I'm a local Calgary real estate agent and have worked in the industry for just over 6 years now. I've been a consistent producer and work with some of the best clients who have become lifelong relationships and referral partners.
Now, let's have a look at what the NDP has planned.
The New Democrat Party
Just to kick things off, if you are searching for the New Democrats' full platform, you can visit the link below.
In completing my research for this piece, my first impression of the platform, with respect to housing left a lot to the imagination.
Now, the probability of them forming the government is low as of today, and that could be the mindset behind this platform and the lack of hard ideas to implement. Nonetheless, here are some key points they have outlined.
Create 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing over the next 10 years, with half done in the first five.
A dedicated fast-start fund to streamline the application process for new projects to get started faster.
Waive GST/HST to the government for the new construction of affordable rental units.
Introduce the 30-year mortgage term to CMHC insured mortgages for entry-level homes for first-time buyers. An increase of the Home Buyer's Tax Credit will be introduced in the amount of $1,500.
Introduce a 20% Foreign Buyer's tax on the sale of homes to individuals that aren't Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
Introduce resources to facilitate co-housing and ease access with CMHC to finance co-ownership mortgages.
The NDP is presented as the party for the little guy. They have some wonderful ideas that I think should have a bigger voice in politics today. And interestingly enough, I think they might align more with the Conservatives rather than the Liberals with respect to their housing plans.
For example, the longer mortgage term, which is also in the Conservative platform. Making this change makes sense to alleviate the impact of payments to everyday Canadians. This in addition to most lenders allowing double-up payments, anniversary payments, etc will give Canadians more space to breathe with their home expenses. But also leave the door open to pay down their mortgage when that performance bonus or pay increase comes through.
The NDP isn't interested in taking on more ownership of the housing industry as well. They want to increase supply, better access to communities via transit projects (the same as the Conservatives) and look at new ways of lending like co-ownership programs. I didn't see anywhere in their platform the discussion of increasing regulatory body power, amending the stress test, or a bill of buyer rights.
The NDP comes off to me as the party that wants to roll up its sleeves and get to work to help Canadians, but needs to be on the back of a bigger party to do so.
In terms of housing, I feel that the Conservatives and the NDP share the same mindset. I'm sure they disagree on many other issues, but with respect to housing, less Government regulation and more action is the key to resolving the issues some parts of our country are having.
Jay Z said it best, a small person on a giant's back can see further than the giant. The NDP most definitely has a further vision than the other two major parties. That is how I feel the NDP can make the most impact.
Housing is something that doesn't need more regulation, it needs more competition to have better build quality, more supply to keep prices manageable, and needs to have the ability to grow as the market dictates without the interference of the government at a federal level. Provincially and at the city and town level there is much that can be done on a case-by-case basis, and that will serve Canadians more than a top-down approach.
Whichever way you decide to vote on September 20, congratulations on being a part of our country's history and shaping our country for the generations to follow.
I hope this helps you make your decision when you vote. If you'd like to learn more about your polling stations, how and where to vote, please visit Elections Canada at the link below.
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As always, thank you for your time and I will see you in a few days for our mid-month forecast for the Calgary market.