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NDP leader believes pandemic is an opportunity to build homes

Last Updated May 6, 2021 at 2:28 pm PDT

FILE -- NDP leader Jagmeet Singh rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday November 5, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

The pandemic recovery is an opportunity to build the places people can call home, Singh said

Singh wants to replicate post-war housing construction boom with federal money

Singh believes a national foreign buyers tax is also needed to release pressure on the real estate market

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The federal NDP leader has called on the government to build more homes, as Canada looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jagmeet Singh said Thursday, the slow recovery is an opportunity to build affordable housing across the country.

“Build the places people can call home,” Singh said. “Apartments, townhouses, houses.”

Making direct mention of the housing construction booms that came after the First and Second world world wars, Singh wants affordable housing built with federal money.

“In the Lower Mainland, lots of the places that people first bought their first affordable home, was a post-World-War home,” he said.

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Massive investment in the sector must include co-operative housing, not-for-profit housing, and below-market value rentals, Singh said.

He also wants to see a national foreign buyers tax brought in, similar to what is already in place in B.C.

Singh believes discouraging foreign buyers, who use the housing market like a “stock market,” from putting their money in Canadian real estate will release some pressure on the housing market.

Mentioning a doubling of the first home buyers tax credit, along with waiving GST on building projects, Singh believes there’s a lot of things that can be done.

“It just is a question of will,” he said.

“The Liberal government has seemed to acknowledge there’s a crisis, but then not act like there’s a crisis. We believe we need to act like there’s a crisis.”

– With files from Monika Gul