Minister of Families, Children and Social Development visits Chatham-Kent

The Minister of Families, Children and Social Development was in southwestern Ontario on Wednesday to promote housing initiatives in the 2022 federal budget.

Minister Karina Gould says affordable housing is a top priority, especially for first-time home buyers.

“We need more affordable housing for everyone,” says Gould. “The new Housing Acceleration Fund is a good start. It aims to create 100,000 net new homes over the next five years.

The Minister also participated in a roundtable with stakeholders in Windsor and a meeting at a housing co-op in Chatham to discuss next steps to build more homes and make housing more affordable across the country.

“It’s about having this holistic ability to help Canadians,” says Gould.

She says Budget 2022 housing measures will put Canada on a path to doubling housing construction over the next decade and help residents save and buy their first home.

Gould also notes a two-year ban on foreign investment in Canadian residential housing and efforts to tackle unfair practices that make housing more expensive for Canadians.

“As house prices rise, so does the cost of a down payment, which is a major hurdle for many people looking to become homeowners, especially young people,” she says.

Gould also touted plans for the first tax-free home savings account to help with down payments as the average home price in Windsor-Essex tops $700,000.

“It would give potential first-time home buyers the opportunity to save up to $40,000,” she says. “Like an RRSP, contributions would be tax deductible, and withdrawals to buy a first home, including investment income, would be non-taxable like a TFSA. Tax free in tax out.”

“Housing is more than just a physical asset and physical structure,” says Ami Patel of the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation. “It provides us with our basic human needs for safety, security and instability. When you have a home, you can put down roots, you can invest in yourself. You can raise a family and you can give back to the community. at large.

Patel fears the area is on the verge of seeing an entire generation miss out on opportunity due to a lack of housing options and hopes more will be done soon to increase the local housing stock.

Patel notes that the current waiting list for affordable housing in Windsor-Essex exceeds 6,000 people.

“Some of the initiatives in a 2022 budget, the tax-free savings account, people will be able to contribute, they’ll be able to grow their savings and hopefully save for a down payment,” Patel said. “So hopefully we’ll see some relief on the waiting list.”

Construction of the new 145-unit Meadowbrook community housing complex where the minister’s visit on Wednesday took place is nearing completion and people are expected to move in this fall.

In the meantime, local estate agents aren’t so sure there’s much immediate relief in the forecast for the local housing market.

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by the highest amount in more than 20 years and warned that more rate hikes were to come as it raised its inflation outlook.

“I anticipate that as interest rates rise, we should start to see some repression of that rise, some relief from the pressure,” says Dan Gemus of the Dan Gemus real estate team.

“Ultimately, it’s about adding more inventory. And until that’s done, we’re going to continue to have problems.

Gemus thinks a temporary ban on foreign residential home buyers will do little to ease the pressure, telling CTV News they only make up about 5% of Ontario home sales.

“There’s no doubt that the GTA, the larger markets and, quite frankly, everything north of Windsor-Essex is coming,” says Gemus. “Even those in the London and Guelph and Milton areas and all these different areas, their average price is still much higher than ours here in Windsor-Essex.”

Gemus adds that even with an increase in spring stocks, there is still a lot to do to ease the pressure now.

“I anticipate we’re going to see this downturn in the more expensive homes before the price drops because again everyone is hoarding in this lower price range to try to get into the market,” he says. .

Joel C. Hicks