Federal budget will help solve Hamilton’s housing crisis, Trudeau says at local stop

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke about the affordable housing aspect of the federal budget in Hamilton on Friday.

And a local MP said Hamilton would provide key information on how part of this housing plan is unfolding.

Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland visited West Mountain residents to tout their party’s housing investments announced Thursday.

The visit comes a day after Freeland announced a budget that included a $10 billion investment in housing, much of which focused on increasing housing supply.

“The housing supply just hasn’t kept pace, so we need to build more homes for a growing country and we need to do it fast,” Freeland said from a local backyard.

Trudeau said he made the announcement in Hamilton because “it’s a great example of a place that was once known for its level of affordability that is now incredibly out of reach.”

Federal budget housing plan targets foreign buyers and first-time buyers

Housing affordability is a key goal for the Liberals in their 2022 federal budget, with promises to ban some foreign buyers for two years and billions of dollars to help first-time homebuyers enter the market. market. 2:22

Money allocated in the budget, $4 billion for a new “housing acceleration fund,” which will allow municipalities to cut red tape and speed up housing construction. The government estimates that this program will create 100,000 new homes over the next five years.

Chad Collins, Liberal MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, said Hamilton officials who deal with planning and housing will appear before a parliamentary committee next month to explain the city’s needs.

“I’m very interested in this one because there are no parameters yet on how it will be invested,” said Collins, a former councilor and former chairman of CityHousing Hamilton. “There are suggestions.”

“I want to see us get to that affordable housing waiting list. It’s down to about 6,000 households [in Hamilton] and moving in the wrong direction.”

Not enough to solve Hamilton’s problems, MP says

Figures from the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) show average selling price for a residential property here in February was $1,104,163 – a record high.

Dan Muys, Tory MP for Flamborough-Glanbrook, says the Liberal budget does not do enough to help with that.

“We need 110,000 homes in Hamilton of all shapes and sizes just to keep pace with demand,” he said ahead of Trudeau’s visit to Hamilton.

Knocking on doors, “I heard it from their parents. ‘My daughter and her husband are making well over six figures and they can’t even consider buying a house.'”

“Housing supply is the problem and this budget does not address that…None of those things are good enough.”

Indwell says the budget will make the difference

Without significant change, he said, “it’s not sustainable. Until we have more supply, we have to fire full throttle.”

Graham Cubitt is Director of Projects and Development at Indwell, one of the region’s largest social housing providers. He sees the budget as “good news for Hamilton.”

“There are a lot of projects ready to go in Hamilton, and it will make a big difference,” he said.

“We have 150 units ready to start over the next 12 months. So for rapid housing initiatives in particular, this will be important. We have about 700 in Ontario who could probably qualify for rapid housing initiatives.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland was also present to discuss the budget. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Another 1,000 ongoing units would likely be eligible for the co-investment funds mentioned in the budget, he said.

Mike Collins-Williams, CEO of the West End Homebuilders Association, says homebuilders are calling on all levels of government to work together.

“With measures in this budget, that leadership is taking hold,” he said.

“Municipalities hold the key to unlocking more supply, and with this federal support and incentive, [the association] hopes that more municipalities such as Hamilton and Burlington will act aggressively to help solve the housing shortage and ease the housing crisis. »