Liberals Embark on Nationwide Housing Push

This week and last, the federal Liberals have begun a nationwide housing push, with announcements in all provinces across the country.

In Recent Liberal News

For starters, the federal government is proposing a “Renter’s Bill of Rights”. This would, among other things, require landlords to disclose a unit’s pricing history, create a national standard lease agreement, and require banks to consider timely rent payments towards a person’s credit score. Critics were quick to point out that housing, while it spans jurisdictions somewhat, is largely a provincial responsibility, and that many of the changes that the federal government is looking to make cross the line into things that the provincial governments should be handling. 

This week, the Prime Minister made an announcement that the Federal Government would be providing an additional $15 billion towards the Apartment Construction Loan Program (ACLP). This program is designed to allow construction companies to more easily access funds necessary to embark on large-scale construction projects. 

That announcement came as a part of what the feds are calling the “Canada Builds” program, which intends to partner with each province to provide additional funding for housing. Announcements towards this broader program are expected to continue until the federal budget is published. These housing partnerships are going to mirror the recent federal-B.C. program which was announced to build thousands of rental units there. Interestingly, the Prime Minister also made it clear that if provinces choose to not work with Ottawa on this, the federal government is prepared to work with municipalities themselves to get housing built. 

The Prime Minister has been attacked near constantly in recent years for lack of action on the housing crisis. Given the LPC’s terrible polling numbers and a new federal budget on the way, it appears that the LPC is attempting to change the narrative by going on the offensive, and pretty aggressively at that. The federal government is planning that approximately $55 billion will be allocated to construction loans across the country, and once the federal budget is released, it is likely that another significant amount of money will be earmarked for federal-provincial housing partnerships beginning this year. 

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