Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a post-budget housing announcement at a townhouse development in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Monday March 25, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touted efforts by the Liberal government to help first-time homebuyers put more down on their mortgages during a visit to a region of the country today that is facing a housing squeeze.

In its budget last week, the government introduced measures that would allow Ottawa to pick up a portion of new homebuyers’ mortgage costs and it increased the amount they can borrow from their retirement savings for a down payment.

READ MORE: Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Housing has emerged as a major issue for many Canadians, especially young people who are trying to get into the real-estate market at a time when prices are soaring in some major cities.

During a visit today to Maple Ridge, B.C., Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers by allowing them to withdraw $35,000 from their RRSPs, up from $25,000, to help lower their borrowing costs.

It also brings in a means-tested incentive that would see the government pick up part of the costs of the mortgages of those eligible for the program to lower their monthly payments.

Trudeau said housing is also a concern for parents who are worried their adult children won’t be able to live in the neighbourhoods where they grew up.

“Owning a house is a big achievement. It’s where you raise a family and set down roots. But far too many young people are worried that they won’t be able to reach that dream. Housing prices in the Lower Mainland are some of the highest in the country and rising.”

Trudeau said the government has also tried to spur new building and keep prices from rising through its national housing strategy to help increase supply.

“We just can’t treat the symptoms of sky-high housing prices,” he added. “We have to deal with the causes as well. When there aren’t enough properties on the market, more people are competing for the same places, which forces the costs up for buyers and renters.”

Last Tuesday’s budget also included $10 billion more for a program to fund the construction of new rental units — the third time the Liberals have expanded the program, which aims to create 14,000 units over 10 years and now carries a $50-billion price tag.

As well, Trudeau said Ottawa is helping the Canada Revenue Agency go after tax fraud and money laundering, which have also been blamed for driving up housing prices in British Columbia.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Badinotti makes cash donations to North Island food banks

‘it’s fantastic that they are supporting community organizations like this’

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

NDP pushing for 10 days of paid sick days for all working Canadians

NDP has made the issue a requirement for their support of the Liberal government

No plans to rebuild Hardy Bay Industrial Centre after fire, owner says

A massive fire burnt down the old building in April

Port Hardy Fire Rescue adapts to new realities amidst COVID-19

Don’t forget to follow Port Hardy Fire Rescue on Facebook.

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Tahsis opens its gates to visitors to save local economy

Seasonal local businesses that rely on tourism hope to survive despite drop in tourist numbers

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read