Poilievre announces his bold plan to bring homes you can afford by removing gatekeepers and red tape, fining big city governments that block new homes, giving bonuses to cities that free up land, and making transit funding dependent on getting more keys-in-doors.

September 14, 2023

Ottawa, ON – After 8 years of Justin Trudeau, housing costs have doubled. Before Trudeau, it took 25 years to pay off a mortgage – now, it takes 25 years just to save for a downpayment. Things have gotten so bad that some families are forced into 90-year mortgages that they will never pay off. Only in Canada has housing become so unaffordable so quickly. Toronto is ranked as the world’s worst housing bubble, and Vancouver is the third most unaffordable housing market on earth, worse than New York City, London, England and Singapore — a tiny island with 2,000 times more people per square kilometre than Canada.  

The problem? We aren’t building enough homes fast enough. We built fewer homes last year than we did in 1972 when our population was half the size. Homebuilding is way down again this year, and the CMHC expects it to remain this way for the foreseeable future. 

This is happening because Justin Trudeau subsidizes government gatekeepers and red tape that prevents builders from getting shovels in the ground and our people into homes they can afford. The CD Howe Institute has shown that in Vancouver, gatekeepers and regulations add nearly $1.3 million to the cost of the average home. In Toronto, government adds $350,000. That means that over 60 percent of the price of a home in Vancouver is due to delays, fees, regulations and taxes. 

The Trudeau government isn’t just protecting these gatekeepers; they are funding them with your hard-earned tax dollars. The bureaucrats at Trudeau’s federal housing agency are slowing down financing for builders trying to construct affordable apartments. So what does Trudeau do? He gives them bonuses – almost $27,000,000 in 2022. In fact, as housing prices have doubled, the number of CMHC staffers taking six-figure annual salaries has grown by 27 percent. The leaders responsible for making housing unaffordable make nearly $700,000 a year. 

Only common sense Conservatives have a plan to fix Trudeau’s housing crisis. That’s why today, Pierre Poilievre announced that he will be introducing the Building Homes Not Bureaucracy Act, which will put keys in doors and people in homes through a mathematical formula that gives more money to municipalities that are building and meeting targets and takes money away from cities and gatekeepers that aren’t. 

The Building Homes Not Bureaucracy Act Will: 

  • Require big, unaffordable cities to build more homes and speed up the rate at which they build homes every year to meet our housing targets. Cities must increase the number of homes built by 15% each year and then 15% on top of the previous target every single year (it compounds). If targets are missed, cities will have to catch up in the following years and build even more homes, or a percentage of their federal funding will be withheld, equivalent to the percentage they missed their target by. Municipalities can be added if the region that they are a part of meets these criteria.  
  • Reward big cities that are removing gatekeepers and getting homes built by providing a building bonus for municipalities that exceed a 15% increase in housing completions, proportional to the degree to which they exceed this target. 
  • Withhold transit and infrastructure funding from cities until sufficient high-density housing around transit stations is built and occupied. Cities will not receive money for transit until there are keys-in-doors.  
  • Impose a NIMBY penalty on big city gatekeepers for egregious cases of NIMBYism. We will empower Canadians to file complaints about NIMBYism with the federal infrastructure department. When complaints are legitimate, we will withhold infrastructure and transit dollars until cities allow homes to be built. 
  • Provide a “Super Bonus” to any municipality that has greatly exceeded its housing targets.  
  • Cut the bonuses and salaries, and if needed, fire the gatekeepers at CMHC if they are unable to speed up approval of applications for housing programs to an average of 60 days. 
  • Remove GST on the building of any new homes with rental prices below market value. This will be funded using dollars from the failed Liberal Housing Accelerator fund. 
  • Within a year and a half of this law passing, list 15 percent of the federal government’s 37,000 buildings and all appropriate federal land to be turned into homes people can afford. 

Poilievre Said:   

“In Canada, we had a deal. You get a job; you get a house. Justin Trudeau has broken this promise. What’s worse? This wasn’t his promise to break. Politicians break promises all the time. But this wasn’t a simple promise put together by backroom political staffers in an election platform. This was Canada’s promise to her people. 

“Today, 90% of young Canadians believe they’ll never be able to afford to buy a home. Even the Liberal government is now warning immigrants that when they arrive in Canada, they’ll have to spend half of their income on shelter alone. 

“A Poilievre Government will restore the promise of Canada by building homes people can afford. Liberals think more photo ops are the answer – our strategy relies on a strict mathematical incentive to get Canadians the homes they need. We will stop giving dollars to gatekeepers who get in the way of homebuilding and ensure municipalities build 15 percent more houses every year while giving big bonuses to municipalities that exceed this number. As Prime Minister, I’ll link federal dollars to the number of homes actually being built and make it as easy as possible for our builders to get shovels in the ground. It’s just common sense.”  

Stakeholders Said: 

“We can’t improve housing affordability without meaningfully increasing housing supply, and we can’t meaningfully increase housing supply without taking on municipal gatekeepers. The Conservative Party appears to be the only federal party that truly understands this, and that is willing to do something about it.”  

– Chris Spoke, CEO, August Digital 

“The housing supply crisis is at a critical point, and bold action is needed to bring us back from the abyss. This new legislation will encourage high-cost cities to reach their housing targets and speed up the construction of much-needed new condos and homes. It will reduce building delays on new affordable rental units and spur the construction of residential development on excess federal land. This legislation will remove some of the barriers to building, which is a win-win for everyone.”  

– Residential Construction Council of Ontario 

“Ontario is experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis. Pierre Poilievre’s plan to incentivize municipalities into rapidly increasing supply and requiring densification around transit stations is a bold and long overdue step that will help more people find an affordable place to call home in metropolitan centres.” 

– Ontario Real Estate Association 

“Canadian cities consistently place among the least affordable cities in the world. If we do not increase the supply, this will not change. Pierre Poilievre’s plan places appropriate emphasis on dealing with municipalities to increase supply.”

– Ben Rabidoux, Founder, Edge Realty Analytics, North Cove Advisors

“The lack of housing supply is the most pressing policy issue facing an entire generation of Canadians. Radical action is needed to prevent housing from becoming even more unaffordable. With this bill, Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives are proposing to harness an array of powerful incentives to help boost supply and improve affordability.”

– Aaron Wudrick, Director, Domestic Policy Program at Macdonald-Laurier Institute