By: Greg Staley
Written On: 2021-09-07
With just 13 days left before the election, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have finally released their housing plan. How does Justin Trudeau, the man who said he admires China’s basic dictatorship plan on solving Canada’s housing crisis? Simple, apply the “use it or lose it” principle to “underused” and “vacant” properties to build more homes.
The Liberal housing plan titled “A Home For Everyone,” says that a “key barrier which slows down the pace of new home-building stems from complex, backlogged and under-resourced municipal zoning and permitting.”
How do the Liberals propose to grow the annual housing supply in the country’s largest cities? The Liberals say they will offer an “application-based fund” that will offer support to municipalities that “grow housing supply faster than their historical average, reduce approval times, help establish inclusionary zoning bylaws, and encourage transit-oriented development.”
The Liberal housing plan says that “cities and communities that build more homes, faster, will be rewarded through this fund.” Trudeau’s housing plan says that the funding to the municipalities will be flexible.
“Some municipalities need funds for capacity (ie. a surge of planners), some for offsets for land purchases, others for underlying infrastructure, some to offset policies like inclusionary zoning.”
The most terrifying part of the Liberal plan is in their choice use of the term “use it or lose it.” Justin Trudeau’s housing plan says that the Liberal Party will “work with municipalities within this program to identify vacant or underused property that should be converted to housing on the principle of “use it or lose it.” The use of this language implies (in my opinion) that the government will have the final say in whether or not you can keep your “vacant” or “underused” property. Even if given a fair market price, this doesn’t make it ok.
This language begs the question – what is deemed underused or vacant property? Would a vacation home fall under the scope? What about a AirBnb rental property? What about that cottage you own? What’s to keep the government at stopping at urban properties?
The Liberals housing plan says that “core urban land should be available for new housing, not left vacant as an unproductive investment property.” Trudeau wants to do the right thing and that’s why he wants to apply the principle of “use it or lose it” to your property in order to develop housing for Canadians – what a good guy!
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