North Okanagan Shuswap candidates respond to questions from Black Press Media. (File image)

North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates respond

What is your position on the federal government’s role in contributing to affordable housing?

As the days count down to the 43rd federal election on Oct. 21, North Okanagan-Shuswap candidates are answering questions of local and national concern among voters. This week they were asked: Affordable housing continues to be a huge issue and is considered essential to preventing and alleviating all kinds of social problems. The federal government once played a larger role in contributing to affordable housing. What is your position?

Mel Arnold

Conservative Party

Considering the many federal policies (e.g. tax policies, mortgage rules) that are factors in the ability of Canadians to access housing, the federal government does play a big role in housing affordability.

My position is that all levels of government have a responsibility to work together to deliver results for Canadians and I am confident the Conservative platform will do just that by helping Canadians get ahead.

I have consistently advocated for policies and measures to expand new housing stock in the North Okanagan- Shuswap. We can help working families that are stuck paying rent when they could be paying a mortgage and we can assist homeless people capable and desirous of working but cannot be hired without an address.

I applaud all who have contributed to new housing in our region in recent years and likewise commit to continue to work with you to achieve results for our communities!

Kyle Delfing

People’s Party

The government needs to create an economic environment where Canadians are working in meaningful jobs. A national housing strategy is not the way forward. Build the pipelines, 240,000 people are out of work because the Liberal government turned its back on the people of Canada’s energy sector.

Reduce all taxes for all Canadians, the government is just making life harder for more and more Canadians by redistributing the wealth of Canadians around the world. We need to focus on building an economy for all Canadians, not building housing for the Canadians who were failed by previous and current Canadian governments.

Get Canadians back to work. Give them more of their own money in their pockets. The government can’t fix everything, we all must work together. Putting money back in the pockets of Canadians is the best way to get Canadians into the homes they need.

Cindy Derkaz

Liberal Party

Everyone needs a safe and affordable place to call home. It is essential to health, security, and educational and employment opportunities.

The federal government can, and must, play a role in contributing to affordable housing.

Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy, launched in 2017, is a 10 year, $55+billion investment to give more Canadians a home.

I fully support the plan’s goals including, reducing chronic homelessness by 50 per cent, removing 530,000 households out of housing need, creating 100,000 new housing units, repairing and/or renewing more 300,000 housing units and providing a Canada Housing Benefit of approximately $2500 per year to qualifying recipients. (The Vernon Native Housing Society project is one of the 11,700 projects funded in B.C.).

And yes, better is possible.

I am running to keep up the momentum on housing by re-electing a Liberal government, because you don’t build affordable housing with spending cuts and austerity.

Marc Reinarz

Green Party

The Green Party believes it is the right of every Canadian to have affordable, safe, and secure housing.

We will re-establish funding for housing co-operatives through a newly mandated Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to help solve the growing problems of homelessness and shortage of affordable housing;

A proposed “guaranteed livable income” strategy will help tackle this issue for those that are not affected by tax cuts as so loosely promised by some during every campaign. If you have a low, or no income a tax cut just doesn’t cut it. To accommodate the larger segment, designated locations for affordable housing have to be assigned within regions or cities in coordination with the Province and local Government.

In remote and Northern regions, we have to provide support in housing and transportation, as both often are linked. We must never forget the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and do everything to keep all people safe in their communities.

Harwinder Sandhu

NDP

We will create 500,000 units of quality, affordable, housing in the next 10 years with half done within five years. In order to kick start the construction of co-ops, social and non-profit housing, we will set up dedicated fast-start funds to streamline the application process and help communities get the expertise and assistance they need to get projects started now not years from now.

In order to encourage the construction of affordable homes we will waive the federal portion of the GST on the construction of new affordable rental units. We will reintroduce 30 year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry level homes for first time buyers.

We will also double the Homebuyers Tax Credit to $1,500. We will put in a foreign buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to those individuals that aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

We will also implement co developed First Nations, Metis, and Inuit housing strategies.

@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

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