Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that the federal government is introducing legislation to remove the GST on the construction of new rental apartment buildings, as part of a new suite of measures aimed at addressing the rising cost of living and making housing across Canada more affordable.
This step, which will incentivize the construction of more purpose-built rental apartment units, was one of the ten recommendations outlined in The National Housing Accord, and is welcomed by the authors of the Accord – REALPAC, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, and The PLACE Centre.
REALPAC, CAEH, and The PLACE Centre welcome this announcement and commend the federal government for recognizing the importance of our recommendations. This announcement is a positive first step towards restoring rental housing affordability in Canada and shows the federal government is willing to take the necessary leadership to fix the crisis we face.
We will continue to advocate for the federal government to adopt all recommendations outlined in the National Housing Accord and we look forward to the announcement of additional measures that will meet the government’s commitment to the progressive realization of the Right to Housing.
About the National Housing Accord:
The National Housing Accord is the outcome of a collaborative effort between experts across the housing continuum to find practicable and implementable solutions to address the housing crisis, and provides ten recommendations for the federal government on how to take a coordinated effort with key stakeholders – including not-for-profits and the private sector – to address housing affordability, meet the needs of Canada’s growing population, create jobs and play a significant role in ending homelessness.
The specific recommendation in the Accord on GST stated that “The federal government should help reform CMHC fees and the federal tax system, including changes to capital cost provisions and eliminating the GST/HST on purpose-built rental housing to incentivize the construction of purpose-built rental housing.”