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O'Toole vows to release government property to build more housing, ban some foreign investors

Last Updated Aug 19, 2021 at 12:09 pm EDT

In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo a construction crew works on an already sold new home. AP Photo/LM Otero)
Summary

O'Toole said his plan eyes building the majority of homes in areas that are "connected to transit stations"


O'Toole said he would give first time home-buyers a better chance of securing ownership


O'Toole also promised to ban foreign investors from purchasing homes if they don't intent to live in them


Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole appealed to the many Canadians struggling to afford a home on Thursday promising that if elected a Conservative government “will give all Canadians the chance to build the life they dream of.”

During an election announcement in Ottawa, O’Toole called the federal government the “largest real estate owner in Canada” and vowed to release 15 per cent of government-owned buildings and land to be repurposed in a bid to build one million new homes over three years.

In a more detailed release, O’Toole said his plan eyes building the majority of homes in areas that are “connected to transit stations to help create jobs, reduce congestion, and reduce emissions. It will also require municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit.”

O’Toole also promised to ban foreign investors from purchasing homes if they don’t intent to live in them, saying the practice contributes to the surge of prices, and in some cases can be used to stash proceeds of crime.

He further said he would give first time home-buyers a better chance of securing ownership by improving mortgage stress tests and insurance rules, and developing longer seven to 10 year mortgage terms.

“If your family can afford to ignore the housing crisis, you have three (other) parties to choose from,” he said.

He didn’t leave out renters, saying he would “incentivize construction of more purpose built rental housing to make sure there’s more supply” for renters.

“The one thing I’m hearing across the country is people can’t keep up with the cost of living,” he said, adding that a Conservative government would never tax capital gain on the sale of a home.