Affordable market and rental housing are key election issues for all parties. 

Here’s a summary of what each of the major parties has promised so far. 

Conservative party

Read their platform (opens 83-page PDF, housing on page 28).

National housing plan/strategy 

  • Implement a plan to build one million homes in three years.

Federal lands for cooperatives, co-housing 

  • Review the federal government’s extensive real estate portfolio with more than 37,000 buildings and release at least 15% for housing. 

Mortgage costs 

  • Encourage a new market in seven- to ten-year mortgages for first-time buyers and lenders, reducing the need for stress tests. 
  • Remove requirement to conduct a stress test when a home owner renews a mortgage with another lender to help home owners access more affordable options. 
  • Increase the limit on eligibility for mortgage insurance and index it to home price inflation, so those in high-priced markets with a less than 20% down payment can buy a home. 
  • Fix the stress test to stop discrimination against small business owners, contractors, and non-permanent employees. 

Capital gains deferral, accelerated depreciation, deduction of losses against other income 

  • Encourage Canadians to invest in rental housing by extending the ability to defer capital gains tax when selling a rental property and reinvesting in rental housing. 

Foreign buyers/ownership 

  • Ban foreign investors not living in or moving to Canada from buying homes here for a two-year period after which it will be reviewed.  
  • Encourage foreign investment in purpose-built rental housing affordable to Canadians. 

Convert empty office space to housing 

  • Explore converting unneeded office space to housing. 

Funding to municipalities for transit contingent on density 

  • Require municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit. 

Land trusts 

  • Create an incentive for corporations and private land owners to donate property to land trusts for the development of affordable housing. 

Money laundering 

  • Implement widespread changes to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (FINTRAC), and give FINTRAC, law enforcement, and prosecutors the tools necessary to identify, halt, and prosecute money-laundering in Canadian real estate markets.  
  • Closely examine the findings and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in BC (Cullen Commission), and quickly implement recommendations at the federal level. 

Beneficial ownership registry 

  • Establish a federal beneficial ownership registry for residential property. 

Green party

Green party platform (opens 103-page pdf)

National housing plan/strategy

  • Will declare housing affordability/homelessness a national emergency.
  • Will appoint a federal minister of housing; will reinvest in housing for Indigenous communities.

Creating homes 

  • Build more affordable housing.  
  • Increase funding for cooperative and supportive housing.  
  • Will expand the Rapid Housing Initiative to bring new affordable/supportive housing onstream.
  • Will invest in construction and operation of 50,000 supportive housing units over 10 years.
  • Will build and acquire a minimum of 300,000 units of deeply affordable non-market, co-op and non-profit housing over a decade.
  • Will require covenants to ensure that subsidized construction remains affordable over the long term.
  • Will implement integrated housing, so everyone can afford to live in the communities in which they work and under quality conditions.

Federal land for cooperatives, co-housing

  • Will protect the existing stock of affordable housing by funding the purchase of buildings by non-profit and cooperative affordable housing organizations.
  • Will leverage federal lands and real property for transfer to off-reserve Indigenous organizations to create housing and economic development opportunities.

Capital gains deferral

  • Will restore tax incentives for building purpose-built rental housing, and provide tax credits for gifts of lands, or of land and buildings, to community land trusts to provide affordable housing
  • GST/HST 
  • Will remove the “deemed” GST whenever a developer with empty condo units places them on the market as rentals. 

Foreign buyers/owners 

  • Create a federal “empty home tax” that would apply to foreign and corporate property owners who leave units vacant. 
  • Will strengthen regulation to limit foreign investment and end predatory practices in residential real estate.
  • Home buyers’ bill of rights
  • Will redefine affordable housing.
  • Will immediately appoint a federal housing advocate.

Money laundering

  • Will crack down on money laundering.

Mortgage costs

  • Will re-focus the core mandate of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing.

National housing co-investment fund

  • Will create a Canada Co-op Housing Strategy and update the mechanisms for financing co-op housing, in partnership with CMHC, co-op societies, credit unions and other lenders.
  • Will assess the role of real estate investment trusts (REITs) in Canada’s housing market.

Rental renovictions 

  • Will establish a national moratorium on evictions.
  • Will maintain a moratorium on evictions until the pandemic is over and for a reasonable time thereafter, in cooperation with provincial governments; Will provide a retroactive residential arrears assistance program to protect Canadians at risk of eviction or of being driven into homelessness due to accumulated rent arrears.
  • Will create national standards to establish rent and vacancy controls; will implement a retroactive Residential Tenant Support Benefit.

Beneficial ownership

  • Will close tax haven loopholes that allow foreign investors to hide the names of beneficial owners of properties in Canada.

Liberal party

Read their platform (opens 205-page PDF); read their housing plan (opens two-page PDF).

Creating homes 

  • Build, preserve, or repair 1.4 million homes by 2025. 
  • Increase funding to the National Housing Co-investment fund by $2.7 billion over four years to build and repair affordable housing, more than double its current allocation. 

Home buyers’ bill of rights 

To protect against speculators, the home buyers’ bill of rights will:  

  • ban blind bidding; 
  • establish a legal right to a home inspection;  
  • ensure total price transparency on history of recent house sale prices;  
  • require real estate agents to disclose dual agency to all participants in a transaction;  
  • develop a publicly accessible beneficial ownership registry;  
  • ensure banks/lenders offer mortgage deferrals for up to six months for job loss or major life event; and 
  • require mortgage lenders to fully inform buyers of full range of financing choices and programs available. 

Help renters become owners 

  • Commit $1 billion in loans and grants to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects with private, not-for-profit, and co-op partners, creating a pathway to home ownership for renters in five years or less. 

Tax-free first-home savings account 

  • Introduce a tax-free first home savings account to allow Canadians under age 40 to save up to $40,000 toward their first home, and withdraw it tax-free to put toward their purchase with no requirement to repay it. Tax-free in, tax-free out. 

First-time home buyer incentive  

  • Make the First Time Home Buyer Incentive (a shared equity mortgage with the government of Canada) more flexible to give Canadians the option of a deferred mortgage loan, as an alternative to the current shared equity model, and reduce their monthly mortgage costs. 

First-time home buyer’s tax credit 

  • Double this tax credit to $10,000 from $5,000 to put $1,500 back home buyers’ pockets. 

Multi-generational home renovation tax credit 

  • Help generations of families live together by introducing the Multigenerational Home Renovation tax credit to support families looking to add a secondary unit to their homes for family members. 

Mortgage costs 

  • Reduce the price charged by CMHC on mortgage insurance by 25%, saving home buyers $6,100 on average. 

Anti-flipping tax 

  • Stop speculation and flipping with an anti-flipping tax on residential properties, requiring properties to be held for at least 12 months. 

Review tax treatment of large corporate owners and speculators 

  • Stop excessive profits in the financialization of housing by reviewing tax treatment of large corporate owners and speculators trying to amass large portfolios of Canadian rental housing. 

Foreign buyers/owners 

  • Ban new foreign ownership of Canadian houses for the next two years. Expand the upcoming tax on vacant housing owned by non-resident, non-Canadians to include foreign-owned vacant land within large urban areas. 

Convert empty office space to housing 

  • Double existing commitment to $600 million. 

Rental renovictions 

  • Stop “renovictions” by deterring unfair rent increases that fall outside of a normal change in rent. 

Housing accelerator fund for municipalities  

  • Provide $4 billion so large cities can accelerate housing plans, creating 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25.  
  • Help cities enforce “use it or lose it”: core urban land should be available for new housing, not held vacant by speculators. 

Money laundering 

  • Strengthen federal oversight of the housing market by establishing the Canada Financial Crimes Agency to investigate and combat all forms of major financial crime, including money laundering in the housing market. 

Beneficial ownership registry 

  • Develop a publicly access


Read their platform (opens 115-page PDF). 

Creating homes 

  • Create 500,000 units of quality affordable housing by 2031.  

Federal lands for co-operatives, co-housing 

  • Mobilize federal resources and lands for these projects, turning unused and under-used properties into vibrant new communities. 

Help renters become owners 

  • Provide resources to facilitate co-housing, including model co-ownership agreements and connections to local resources. 

First-time home buyer’s tax credit 

  • Double the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $10,000 from $5,000. 

Mortgage costs 

  • Re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first time home buyers, resulting in smaller monthly payments. 
  • Ease access to financing by offering CMHC backed co-ownership mortgages. 

Foreign buyers 

  • Implement a 20% foreign buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to individuals who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents. 

Rental renovictions 

  • Provide up to $5,000 to help families pay rent. 

Funding to municipalities for affordable homes 

  • Provide dedicated fast start-up funds to kick-start the construction of co-ops, social, and non-profit housing, to streamline the application process and help communities get the expertise and assistance they need to get projects off the ground now. 

Spur construction of new affordable rental units 

  • Waive the federal portion of the GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units – a simple change that will help get new units built faster and keep them affordable for the long term. 

Money laundering 

  • Fight money laundering, which drives up housing prices.  

Beneficial ownership registry 

  • Create a public beneficial ownership registry with the provinces to increase ownership transparency, and require reporting of suspicious transactions to help find and stop money laundering.