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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New emergency and public alerts system released by the RDBN

This new mass communication system is called Voyent Alert.

“The Great Regional Air Hug” being organized by the Vanderhoof International Airshow Society

A multi-aircraft flyover over the region is being planned for August 15.

Drive-by parade being held for seniors in Vanderhoof

The route covers long-term care homes in the district as well as the hospital.

P.G.’s Barb Ward-Burkitt named new chair of Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women

A survivor of domestic abuse herself, Ward-Burkitt has served as vice-chair since 2018

Houston mill to re-open June 8

Ends lengthy shutdown which began in March

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Williams Lake RCMP capture fugitive walking along Highway 97 in city limits

Witness said they could hear police yelling for suspect to ‘get down’

Most Read