Industry Professionals respond to 2024 Federal Budget

Professionals from associations including CHBA and RESCON have issued statements following the federal government's release of the 2024 Federal Budget.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announces the new federal budget in Ottawa on April 16, 2024.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) have issued statements in response to the 2024 Federal Budget that was released earlier this week.

On April 16, Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, released Budget 2024: Fairness for Every Generation; a plan to build a Canada that “works better for every generation, where younger generations can get ahead, where their hard work pays off, and where they can buy or rent their own home—where everyone has a fair chance at a good middle class life.”

The 2024 Budget aims to take action to build more homes and lays out a strategy to unlock 3.87 million new homes by 2031. Key measures include launching a new Public Lands for Homes Plan and a new Canada Rental Protection Fund, enhancing the Canadian Mortgage Charter, and creating a new Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights.

Additionally, it aims to help make life cost less and advances the government’s work to lower everyday costs for Canadians. This includes helping to stabilize the cost of groceries, cracking down on junk fees to make prices fairer, and lowering the costs of banking. The budget also makes new investments, including the launch of a new National School Food Program and the new Canada Disability Benefit.

“Our government first came to office with a vow to strengthen and expand the middle class. We delivered on that pledge by reducing poverty, especially for children and seniors, and creating millions of good jobs for Canadians. Our work isn’t done. Budget 2024 renews our focus on unlocking the door to the middle class for millions of younger Canadians. We’ll build more housing and help make life cost less. We will drive our economy toward growth that lifts everyone up. That is fairness for every generation,” said Freeland.

Some key points from the budget include the following.

Budget 2024 proposes $10 million over two years to continue to encourage Canadians to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades. It also announced measures to help clarify and reduce timelines for major projects in order for them to be built more quickly.

The budget also proposes to provide $4 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, for Canada Lands Company to support new modular housing projects on four sites including Downsview, Toronto in Ontario. The Apartment Construction Loan Program will also earmark at least $500 million to homebuilders that use innovative construction techniques, such as modular housing, for new rental projects.

Additionally, Budget 2024 proposes to provide $500 million over five years, beginning in 2024-25, to Infrastructure Canada to support more projects through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program.

In response to the budget announcement, CHBA CEO Kevin Lee said, “CHBA and our members are very pleased to see the federal budget measures that will help the sector respond to the government’s goal of doubling housing starts to overcome the housing supply deficit. CHBA has long called for policies to assist those who dream of homeownership but have found it out of reach. Today’s budget will go a long way to help unlock the door to homeownership.”

“The federal government has indicated with this budget that it intends to prioritize housing supply and affordability, including helping those Canadians who want to own a home fulfill that aspiration. CHBA and our members are eager to help make that happen,” added Lee.

While RESCON president Richard Lyall said they commend the government, he also expressed concerns over the lack of relief for first-time buyers. “We commend the federal government for seriously trying. There are positive measures here to assist purpose-built rental housing supply. That much is encouraging. But there is no relief for first-time buyers who have been pushed out of the market. They are being taxed on new housing at rates which would have crushed their parents and grandparents. Why are we doing that to them? Housing is a vital need and we are taxing it like alcohol and cigarettes. The cost of housing used to be three times the average household income but now it’s 10 times.”

“The government’s failure to take solid steps to help first-time homebuyers is short-sighted and self-defeating in terms of meeting the challenge of the housing affordability and supply crisis,” added Lyall. “To ensure the health of our economy, we must do more to help these homebuyers get a foothold in the market. The budget missed the mark on that front. We must help young Canadians who want to buy their first home. They are the future of this country.”

The budget aims to grow the economy in a way that’s “shared by all” which includes attracting more investment in the net-zero economy by expanding and delivering the major economic investment tax credits, securing Canada’s advantage as a leader in artificial intelligence, and investing in enhanced research grants that will provide younger generations with good jobs and new opportunities. It also means ensuring Indigenous Peoples share in this growth in a way that works for them.

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