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Candidates Q and A: Buying a first home

Candidates from the four major parties were asked to respond to questions about key issues in the upcoming provincial election

EloraFergusToday asked the candidates running for the four major parties in the Wellington-Halton Hills riding a series of questions about the upcoming election. Their answers will run nightly over the next two weeks. Responses were limited to 250 words. 

Tonight's question: 'What should be done to help people buy their first home?'

Ted Arnott, Progressive Conservative

I agree wholeheartedly that all orders of government should look for ways to help first-time buyers realize their dream of owning a home.

The Government of Canada recently announced a new tax-free savings plan to help young people save for the down payment on their first house. This is a good step forward. The province could match the Federal Government’s First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit. Another way to help would be for the province to rebate the Land Transfer Tax for first time buyers in whole or in part, targeting the benefit to those who need it most.

In the longer term, the problem of housing affordability will be addressed by increasing the supply of housing to meet the demand for it. All orders of government should work together to accomplish this, and not point fingers to assess blame.

Diane Ballantyne, NDP

Young people should be able to find  a safe, affordable place of their own when they’re ready. They should be able to rent without the constant threat of eviction or bank-breaking rent hikes.

Buying a home, in the community they love, should not be out of reach for hard-working families. The NDP will provide for first-time home-buyers by giving you 10 per cent of the purchase price for your down payment. It’s called the Home in Ontario Program (HOP) and it’s an investment in you. So young people can have what previous generations of Ontarians have had: a chance to put down roots and watch them grow. We are going to build 69,000 affordable homes and 30,000 homes with support.

We are also going to take on greedy billionaires, speculators and bad developers to cool the market. We will increase the Non-Resident Speculation tax, expand it to the whole province and close the loopholes, plus we’ll introduce a speculation and vacancy tax on those who don’t pay taxes in Ontario and own houses they don’t live in. We will also allow municipalities to shift property taxes onto properties worth more than $2 million, and off the middle class.

Ryan Karho, Green Party

Greens believe in creating more pathways to home ownership, including helping young people to buy their first home. In our plan, we will:

  • Allow single family dwellings to be divided into multiple condominium units to create more attainable home ownership opportunities within existing neighbourhoods.
  • End blind bidding to ensure that the home purchase process is transparent. 
  • Make home inspections mandatory, at the seller’s expense, to save new homebuyers money on unexpected repairs.
  • Consult on and develop a down payment support program to help low and middle income first-time homebuyers. 
  • Develop and support alternative home ownership pilot programs such as co-housing, tiny homes, and rent-to-own to assist low and middle income first-time homebuyers.
  • Increase incentives and streamline the application process for first-time homeowners to add affordable rental units to their primary residence to help pay down their mortgage.

Tom Takacs, Liberal

We will offer assistance for first-time home buyers through the Ontario Home Building Corporation by enabling them to purchase affordable homes built by the corporation.