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How the federal government can help people get into homes in Ottawa

On March 19 the federal government will deliver its final budget before the national election in October. This is important for Ottawa residents because the federal government sets the rules for mortgage insurance and financing to purchase a home.

Home Builders’ Associations operate at the municipal, provincial and federal level. So, when you join the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association, your voice is heard at every level of government.

And, by advocating for more supply, reduced costs and better access to housing, HBAs also provide a voice for future homebuyers.

It is with these interests in mind that HBAs from across the country recently came to Ottawa to speak with Members of Parliament.

The upcoming federal budget is an opportunity to look at the rules regarding amortization and the imposition of stress testing on mortgage applications.

Builders are asking for modifications to these rules so that first-time buyers do not get locked out of homeownership.

A national opinion poll conducted for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association shows that 3 out of 4 Canadians link homeownership with being middle class. It’s also not surprising to see that in the same survey, 80% of people who don’t currently own a home would like to in the future.

The majority of us are striving for the financial security that homeownership provides.

The key is for the federal government to take a leadership role by making a commitment to market-rate housing affordability, while securing against financial system risks. Modifications to the current amortization and stress test rules can continue to protect taxpayers while ensuring that hard working Canadians can actually reach their dreams of homeownership and join the middle class.

If you are concerned about whether your children will be able to buy their own home in the future, or whether you will be able to realise the value of your home when you want to sell, then you need to be concerned about the rules that limit accessibility to financing for first-time buyers.

The Minister of Finance has indicated that he is looking for ways to increase opportunities for millennials to afford to buy a home. There’s an opportunity to address this issue in the upcoming budget – let’s hope he takes it.

Jason Burggraaf, Executive Director

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