Housing prices across the province have hit record highs. The number of homes up for sale is at record low numbers, and even rental units are hard to come by in the region according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Moose FM asked the candidates running for election in Hastings-Lennox-Addington what they and their parties would do to address the affordable housing crisis.
Ted Darby, Liberal Party candidate, says a paradigm change is needed. He says he wants to take away money from major GTA investments like Highway 413, and invest that money in rural infrastructure that will allow for building housing in rural communities like Bancroft, Madoc and Tweed. He says if the government invests there, they will create more jobs and businesses in the area, along with more affordable housing.
Eric Depoe, NDP Candidate, says there is a serious supply shortage, and the province needs to build more housing. He also blames speculation in the housing market for high prices, with corporations buying up 25 percent of houses on the market for investment purposes. He says the NDP wants to build many new houses, especially in the “missing middle”. He wants development to stay away from large, profitable houses, filling the market with homes that are publically built and affordable. He uses the city of Napanee as an example of a place where someone used to be able to find a modest home with a modest income. However, housing is now out of reach for most people and is impossible to get for those on social assistance.
New Blue Party Candidate Joyce Ried, says housing prices have gotten totally out of control, and that people should be able to put a roof over their heads. She wants to pressure the federal government to investigate money laundering that comes with foreign investment. She says her party will need to look at building affordable housing.
Ontario Party Candidate and Leader Derek Sloan says they have a four-pronged plan for affordable housing. He says his party wants to do some urban planning reform to allow for more supply, but his party’s policy is focused on demand. He says the Ontario Party wants to ban foreign buyers from buying property, saying that it is pushing demand up. He also wants to investigate money laundering in real estate, which he says is a major problem in Ontario’s housing market. He also wants the federal government to put controls on immigration, similar to what Quebec has. Sloan says he wants immigration numbers that dosen’t put strain on the housing market.
The Green Party of Ontario candidate Christina Wilson, and Progressive Conservative Candidate Ric Bresee, were unavailable for comment.