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HomeNewsElection 2021: How would candidates address the housing crisis?

Election 2021: How would candidates address the housing crisis?

Housing in Hastings-Lennox and Addington has become increasingly difficult to find.

Over the years, there have been a growing number of homeless or under-housed people across the country, and very few affordable homes. In addition, skyrocketing housing prices over the last year have left homeownership out of the reach of many people. Moose FM asked each candidate what they would do to address the crisis.

In a statement to Moose FM, Conservative Candidate Shelby Kramp-Neuman pledged to increase the availability of affordable housing, especially rental units in the riding.

Liberal Candidate Mike Bossio says the issue is about supply and demand and is the responsibility of all levels of government. He says to solve the crisis requires a holistic approach. He wants municipalities to relax regulation on land use planning to get more houses built and permits in place. To build these houses, he says the Liberals are helping by investing $8 billion into skilled trades and training. He says his party will ban foreign buying for the next two years, and put a tax on empty residential units. He says his government is investing $65 billion into affordable housing and aims to create 1.4 million new housing units. He also is pledging to convert unused buildings into housing.

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While Moose FM was not able to reach out to NDP candidate Matilda DeBues, her campaign says that she will champion “bold action” to address Canada’s housing crisis. She says she is fighting for extra measures on top of the NDP plan. The Party wants to build many new affordable units and slap a tax on homebuyers who do not reside in Canada, or who are not citizens.

Green Party Candidate Reg Wilson says there is no single answer to the crisis. He points to the low level of income in the economy that puts people in a position where they can’t afford a home. He says the long-term solution is to create green jobs that pay better. He adds the Green Party will implement a guaranteed livable income and invest in low-income housing.

James Babcock, the candidate for the People’s Party of Canada, is pushing for mental health and addiction services to be expanded, as he says many of those who are homeless have these issues which may cause a barrier to them finding homes. He also blames inflation caused by the government printing money. He says that immigration is playing a role, and that unsustainable levels of immigration are contributing to supply and demand issues. He also wants to raise interest rates in a way that will bring houses into the more affordable range.

Independent Candidate Jennifer Sloan says there is a great need for accommodation for homeless people and affordable housing options. She wants to utilize spaces that aren’t being used and coordinate with the owners of those buildings to create affordable housing. She is also open to investigating solutions that would suit everybody.

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