THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Federal New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh is in Thunder Bay completing a two day visit to the city.
Singh stated this morning at Marina Park that the issue with affordable rental housing in Thunder Bay, as well as across Canada is at a crisis level. Singh told media that in Thunder Bay with a one per cent rental property vacancy rate, it is time for action.
The New Democrats are ramping up pressure on the Liberals to provide HST/GST relief to home builders who are making rental housing units.Singh wants to incentivize the building of more affordable housing by removing the federal portion of GST and HST on the development of new affordable homes. New Democrats are also advocating for improvements to the government’s co-investment fund which provides financial support to build new units as well as repair and renovate existing affordable units – adding more spaces for local renters.
“Everyone should be able to find a place that they can afford that’s safe and fits their family’s needs. But right now, there is not much available in Thunder Bay,” said Singh. “For eight years, Justin Trudeau has promised to tackle the housing crisis, but things just keep getting worse. I’m hearing from residents that it’s harder than ever to find an affordable place for families.
And Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives are all talk— they continue to support rich developers getting even richer. People in Thunder Bay need solutions now and that’s exactly what New Democrats are pushing for.”
In 2017, the Liberals committed to removing the GST from rental construction, but they have broken that promise leaving people in communities like Thunder Bay to struggle with very low vacancy rates and sky-high prices.
Without urgent action, the city’s housing crisis will get worse as higher interest rates drive up the already-elevated costs of owning a home, putting further pressure on the rental market.
Singh says that the federal Liberals have made this a promise in 2017 but won’t act on it.
Singh emphasizes the need for a comprehensive strategy that includes investing in affordable housing units, combating speculation in the housing market, and supporting renters’ rights.