Yesterday, the NDP released their platform called Change for the Better. The full platform is 100 pages, which is very lengthy for an election platform. By comparison, the NDP’s 2014 platform was only 9 pages.
Contained within the platform were recommendations related to real estate and the housing market. These policies focused on affordable housing, creating housing options for low-income earners, expanding the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) and protecting renters.
In a 100-page plan, there is a lot of room for specific commitments. However, there were some recommendations in the NDP platform that are similar to the proposals put forward by OREA in our Platform for Home Ownership.
|Commitments similar to the Ontario REALTOR® Party platform:
· Encourage an array of options, including mid-rises, townhouses and stacked townhouses.
· Require minimum density in developments along new transit lines, letting municipalities opt out of some minimum parking requirements and requiring coordinated planning of retail and housing in medium-density developments.
· Dedicate cap-and-trade revenues to a new $50 million no-interest and on-bill home retrofit program to help people consumer less power at home. Target the program to communities and individuals facing the greatest financial barriers to lowering their energy use.
· Create a Residents’ Rights Act so home owners can add legal apartments, laneway houses and “granny flats” to their properties.
|Other recommendations relevant to housing:
· Build 65,000 new affordable homes, including non-profit and co-op housing.
· Allow seniors who own their home to defer property taxes until their house is sold.
· Overhaul Inclusionary Zoning regulations to require a certain number of affordable homes in new housing developments. Increase the percentage and bring rental properties under the regulations.
· Protect homebuyers from “shoddy construction and unfair financial risk” by reforming Tarion Warranty Corporation.
· Crack down on housing speculators, including domestic speculators by applying the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) anywhere speculation is overheating a housing market. Match British Columbia’s schedule by increasing the NRST to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2019.
· Make rentals more affordable by introducing legislation that:
· Limits the use of above-guideline increases to “renovict” people from their homes.
· A rent registry, so tenants can know how much a landlord has charged in the past.
· Protect condo buyers by ensuring that:
· Disputes can be resolved quickly.
· Owners can expect transparency and accountability from condo boards.
· Advertising materials reflect realistic costs and fees.
· Owners have protection from shoddy or incompetent construction.
|If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or OREA’s Head of Government Relations, Adam Yahn at email@example.com or 416-385-6618.