Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a post-budget housing announcement at a townhouse development in Maple Ridge, B.C., on Monday March 25, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau touted efforts by the Liberal government to help first-time homebuyers put more down on their mortgages during a visit to a region of the country today that is facing a housing squeeze.

In its budget last week, the government introduced measures that would allow Ottawa to pick up a portion of new homebuyers’ mortgage costs and it increased the amount they can borrow from their retirement savings for a down payment.

READ MORE: Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Housing has emerged as a major issue for many Canadians, especially young people who are trying to get into the real-estate market at a time when prices are soaring in some major cities.

During a visit today to Maple Ridge, B.C., Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers by allowing them to withdraw $35,000 from their RRSPs, up from $25,000, to help lower their borrowing costs.

It also brings in a means-tested incentive that would see the government pick up part of the costs of the mortgages of those eligible for the program to lower their monthly payments.

Trudeau said housing is also a concern for parents who are worried their adult children won’t be able to live in the neighbourhoods where they grew up.

“Owning a house is a big achievement. It’s where you raise a family and set down roots. But far too many young people are worried that they won’t be able to reach that dream. Housing prices in the Lower Mainland are some of the highest in the country and rising.”

Trudeau said the government has also tried to spur new building and keep prices from rising through its national housing strategy to help increase supply.

“We just can’t treat the symptoms of sky-high housing prices,” he added. “We have to deal with the causes as well. When there aren’t enough properties on the market, more people are competing for the same places, which forces the costs up for buyers and renters.”

Last Tuesday’s budget also included $10 billion more for a program to fund the construction of new rental units — the third time the Liberals have expanded the program, which aims to create 14,000 units over 10 years and now carries a $50-billion price tag.

As well, Trudeau said Ottawa is helping the Canada Revenue Agency go after tax fraud and money laundering, which have also been blamed for driving up housing prices in British Columbia.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fraser Lake business offers equine therapy to deal with life stressors

The idea is to have diverse businesses that provide more options to residents and tourists says Kim Watt-Senner

Smithers man receives two-year sentence for fatal car crash

Over a year after a fatal crash, a Smithers man has been sentenced to two years plus a day in jail.

First Nations push for massive conservation area in northern B.C.

Includes ancestral areas of three Kaska Dena First Nations, just shy of the B.C.-Yukon border

Tahltan reach benefits agreement over Seabridge’s massive KSM gold mine project

$308M agreement provides additional billions for Tahltan jobs, contracts

B.C. court to mull continuing order against Coastal Gaslink pipeline opponents

Coastal GasLink was granted an interim injunction in December following arrests and protests

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Most Read