Federal Election 2021: REAL Ideas for Housing Supply

A lack housing supply is expected to be top of mind for every political party during this year’s federal election.

Increasingly competitive markets continue to make homeownership out of reach for many Canadians; yet, the value of homeownership yields both financial and non-financial benefits. These benefits extend across income levels, ages and regions—as well as beyond the homeowner to the broader society.

Read more about the benefits of homeownership:

When candidates show up on doorsteps seeking support at the ballot box, it’s up to REALTORS® across the country to drive home the importance of standing up for policies that benefit homeowners and those striving to achieve that dream. This initial engagement is the first step toward influencing government decisions that will take place once the votes have been tallied and the seating chart in the House of Commons has been drawn up. This is where the groundwork is laid to affect decisions that will impact your clients and your business over the next four years. 

Regardless of personal political preferences, Election 2021 puts the REALTOR® community in a great position to demonstrate our passion, professionalism, and organizational abilities. As one of Canada’s largest industry associations, we are more than 140,000 members strong and a very powerful voice for real estate priorities.

Getting engaged by standing up for the interests of your clients in this election can be done in numerous ways, and every small act goes a long way toward bringing focus to our issues in the political discourse. Here are some of the ways REALTORS® can contribute:

  • Visit REALideas.ca, where you can learn more about the REALTOR® recommendations and what parties have committed to in their platforms.
  • Take to social media and spread the word about housing supply and affordability via the social shareables available on REALideas.ca.
Out of reach.
  • Ask candidates about our issues when they come knocking on your door, or when you see them at in-person or virtual community events. If you already know a local candidate, make sure you discuss our issues and share our REALTOR® recommendations with them.
  • Participate in all-candidates events—a strong presence can convey the vast reach of the REALTOR® network to future Parliamentarians.

List of recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Increase the supply of new homes for Canadians across the housing spectrum by adding housing clauses in Infrastructure Bilateral Agreements between Infrastructure Canada and provincial and territorial partners. This should include providing incentives and building capacity of local authorities as well as redeveloping existing assets.

Recommendation 2: Solving Canada’s housing challenge needs to be tackled as the national priority that it is. The federal government should establish a permanent National Housing Roundtable bringing together federal, provincial, and municipal authorities along with builders, real estate professionals and civil society organizations to help understand the scale of the housing supply challenge, document the multiple challenges to increasing supply and identify solutions to these obstacles.

Recommendation 3: Make homes more affordable for Canadians by providing first-time homeowners with increased incentives and ability to borrow to fund home purchases. This would include improving the Home Buyer’s Plan by increasing tax-free RRSP withdrawal limits and helping debt reduction by reintroducing the 30-Year amortization.

While all parties readily acknowledge the value of homeownership, the upcoming election presents a brief window of opportunity to drive that message home with the candidates who will make up the next Government of Canada.

Please be aware there are stringent regulations that govern fundraising by political parties. These significantly limit political contributions by individuals, and forbid contributions from companies and associations. Please refer to the Political Financing section of our Election Toolkit 2021.

Individuals and organizations also need to be careful about engaging in election advertising or partisan activities during the regulated period from August 15, 2021 – September 20, 2021. Please refer to the Third-Party Advertising Rules outlined in our Election Toolkit 2021.

CREA staff are available during the election to assist with organizing events and helping with media relations. Contact Dil Puar, CREA’s Director of Government Relations, by email (dpuar@crea.ca) or by phone at (613) 237-7111.

RaeChelle-Faith Hamilton is the Government Relations Special Projects Coordinator at CREA. Born and raised in Jamaica, she graduated with an LL.B. in 2016, and holds a post-grad certificate in Government Relations from Seneca College. With more than five years of experience working and volunteering in local and international non-profits, RaeChelle-Faith has also worked in educational consulting, project management and events coordination, youth policy development as well as in program support to the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Division of Global Affairs. Beyond this, she comes to CREA with additional expertise in constituency assistance and public affairs. When doing none of these things, she is a singer/songwriter and budding chef.

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