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

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Q & A session with a trans youth counsellor in Vanderhoof

There is still stigma associated with the LGBTQ+ community, says counsellor Shauna Kinch

Faculty at Terrace UNBC campus join strike after failed negotiations

Unfair working conditions required job action demonstration, protesters say

Sturgeon facing predation challenges in the Nechako

Next year’s sturgeon release will be capped at 200 super size sturgeon along with 1500 chinook fry

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Terrace RCMP investigating suspicious death of a man in Thornhill

Kamloops resident was found unresponsive early Sunday morning, died hours later

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Most Read