TheBramptonReal Estate Board
Political Party Survey
Andrea Horwath – NDP Party ofOntario
- Does your party have a strategy to support home ownership inOntario?
The NDP has a plan to make life more affordable for Ontarians. The Harmonized Sales Tax hit struggling families at the worst possible time. Instead of making life more affordable for people struggling with the recession, it made life more expensive. It shifted more of the tax burden off large corporations like banks and insurance companies and onto household budgets.
The HST takes a big bite out of the average family budget. That’s hard to cope with, but what hits hardest are new taxes on your daily household essentials: your electricity, your home heating, gas for the car. You can cut a lot from your household budget, but everyone needs to heat their home, keep the lights on and commute to work.
The HST was negotiated behind closed doors. This backroom deal has a huge impact on affordability of everyday essentials, such as electricity and home heating, that impact housing affordability.
We will take the HST off essentials such as electricity and home heating. We will start removing the HST from gasoline by one percentage point a year. These are daily essentials that don’t need a new tax.
We’ve also released a detailed home retrofit program that is detailed below. We’ll also ban credit scoring by insurance companies so property owners can get the coverage they need at a price they can afford.
Finally we’ve also announced an ambitious 10 year affordable housing strategy that is detailed below.
- How would a government make home ownership more affordable?
The HST has made the overall carrying costs of home ownership much more expensive. Ontario’s NDP will take the HST off essentials such as electricity and home heating. We’ll also ban credit scoring by insurance companies so property owners can get the coverage they need at a price they can afford. In addition we plan to make housing more affordable, as detailed below.
- Does you party support energy efficiency retrofit rebates for home owners?
Yes, we released a detailed program recently:
Ontario’s NDP will provide a rebate of up to $5,000 on home improvements that make homes more energy efficient. Combined with eligible federal rebates, a household could save up to $10,000.
Eligible expenses would include everything from high efficiency furnaces to Energy Star windows and doors.
Low-income households will also be eligible for supplemental grants of $3,000-$5,000 for energy efficiency improvements.
Rebates would be bolstered by low-interest loans of $10,000 or more for approved energy efficiency improvements that have a 5 to 15 year payback period.
In order to be eligible for the loan program, homeowners will be required to conduct an audit of their home, and will qualify if energy savings would offset loan repayment costs.
Homeowners can save as much as $700 a year on a $2,000 annual heating bill by implementing home retrofits.
The rebate program is expected to retrofit 400,000 homes while the loan program is expected to help 160,000 households over 4 years.
- Does your party favour the creation of a permanentOntariohome renovation tax rebate?
Yes, we support a permanent home renovation rebate for renovations that contribute to energy efficiency. Please see above for more details.
- What is your party’s plan to eliminate the deficit and pay downOntario’s debt?
New Democrats realize better than most that we can’t confront tomorrow’s challenges under a massive debt burden. AcrossCanada, New Democrats have a tradition of balancing budgets – NDP governments have run fewer deficit budgets than any other party.
Andrea Horwath and Ontario’s New Democrats have proposed a fiscal plan that is responsible, cautious and verified by independent economists. Our growth forecast is more cautious than that of the Liberals and Tories. Unlike the other parties, we won’t give away $2 billion in across-the-board corporate tax cuts because these cuts simply haven’t created jobs in the past and won’t in the future. We won’t forego another $1.3 billion in future revenues by expanding corporate tax credits for meals and entertainment. And we will save over $800 million a year by cutting high-priced consultants, capping public sector CEO salaries, and conducting an expenditure review.
As a result of these and other measures, our fiscal commitments – on public investments and tax reductions – are actually lower in the last year of our mandate than those of the Liberals and Conservatives. And we have left $1 billion over four years unallocated to protect against the potential impact of lower economic growth. In sum, by putting people first – rather than corporations and well-connected insiders –Ontario’s NDP plan is practical, effective and fiscally prudent.
- What is your party’s plan to expand the supply of rental housing?
- Does your party support the creation of a broad based portable rental housing allowance?
Over five years, we will phase in a new housing benefit that will help almost 200,000 low-income individuals and families to better afford their rent. The average amount of the benefit, when fully phased in, will be $96/month for individuals and $120/month for families. The program will cost $240 million a year when fully implemented. We are investing $545 million in the housing benefit over the next four years.
We are committing to a 10-year affordable housing plan to build 50,000 new affordable housing units. With sustained provincial funding reaching $150 million a year, we will build over 14,000 units in the next four years.
These ambitious targets will be achieved through:
- Partnered funding with the federal government (starting with a 3-year, $480 million bilateral agreement).
- Improved housing provider access to low-cost financing through the expansion and reform of the Infrastructure Ontario Affordable Housing Loan Fund.
- Legislation enablingOntariomunicipalities to implement inclusionary housing policies that require a minimum percentage of affordable units in new housing developments.
- Does your party support a Provincial grow house registry?