This section uses various polls and statements from the Liberal, Conservative, NDP, and Green political parties. Their positions and views on various issues relating to homelessness are shown and broken down into sections. This shows what the individual political parties stand for and would implement.
General Party Views on Houselessness
The general positions and platforms of the major Canadian governmental parties in the 2021 federal election campaigns.
- They have established a three-pronged approach that will start with increasing the supportive housing options that will ensure that those in need are not simply given shelter and no other resources to improve their standing.
- The second phase is related to the construction of public housing with the goal of building 25,000 homes.
- The third stage is addressing the affordability and access to private housing which will look like affordable rental options.
- There are fewer policy suggestions from the conservative platform but their main suggestion takes the form of a “Home Renovation Tax Credit” which is proposed to fund significant renovations in one home such as the addition of a basement suite or other rental options within an existing home. This would allow for more rental options on the market with the goal of lowering prices and increasing access to homes
- The NDP has recognized the need for increased housing with a plan to link housing agreements and partnerships to provide more homes and resources for vulnerable individuals.
- They will furthermore add more rental housing options (although a specific number was not included) and made plans for a Shelter Enhancement program.
- Their approach starts with repairing and optimizing energy efficiency within homes to cut costs for homeowners which aligns with the party's priorities of environmentalism.
- Additionally, they propose to start housing plans for senior citizens, Indigenous communities, as well as further social and affordable housing.
- They also proposed to increase the number of affordable housing options and rental properties (although no exact figures were provided again) as well as a higher living wage for workers.
Positions on Rights to Housing
“Canada has recognized that adequate housing is a fundamental human right by ratifying the ICESCR and has agreed to take appropriate steps towards realizing the rights set out in it”
https://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/right-home-report-consultation-human-rights-and-rental-housing-ontario/housing-human-right#:~:text=Canada has recognized that adequate,that much more is required.
The National Housing Strategy Act states, “housing is essential to the inherent dignity and well-being of the person and to building sustainable and inclusive communities as well as a strong national economy in which the people of Canada can prosper and thrive”. This federal act stresses the importance of affordable housing options with government and local community cooperation.
- They planned to appoint a Federal Housing Advocate upon assuming government.
- The desire to implement a Right to Housing Act and presence within the National Housing Strategy Act.
- They did not release an opinion on the right to housing topic.
- They planned to reduce poverty by fully introducing and including the right to housing.
- They also plan to appoint a Federal Housing Advocate as mentioned in the National Housing Strategy Act.
Affordable Housing Options
How the various political parties planned to approach the increasing prices of homeownership and the rental market.
- They proposed to maintain limits on rent increases within a reasonable amount
- Also require that landlords disclose the rental amounts they collect from tenants.
- They planned to encourage rental housing market investment through incentives to defer capital gains tax when selling a rental property to reinvest in rental housing.
- The NDP did not include a portion or plan for affordable housing options
- They proposed to establish national standards to deal with rent and vacancies.
- They also planned to fund and increase financing options for nonprofit organizations to buy property and buildings to convert into affordable housing.
- Additional plans to restore and build more social housing. Additionally proposed to oversee that subsidized constructions remain affordable in the long run.
Financial Support/Tax Credits
- They proposed to cost match funding in the provinces and territories with the Canada Housing Benefit.
- They also suggested doubling the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to $20,000 per household.
- A final proposed measure to get advice and suggestions for an Aging at Home Benefit through an expert panel they would establish.
- They proposed to continue the Home Accessibility Tax Credit with an increased limit that applies to the individual rather than the household.
- Additional suggested measures were to allow Medical Expense Tax Credit to be claimed by seniors and caregivers.
- This ties in with their proposed Canada Seniors Care Benefit to give monthly payments to households that are living with and caring for an elderly parent.
- They have proposed to increase rental support for families.
- Establish a Canada-wide standard for in-home and long-term care along with additional funding for that as well.
- They suggested a plan to offer assistance to renters at risk of eviction from ‘accumulated rent arrears’.
- They also support the Home Accessibility Tax Credit being applied to the individual rather than the household.
- For elderly citizens, they proposed investing in long-term care and improvements for communities, long-term care, and improvement in private homes.