Canada’s minister for families and children made a stop in Windsor Wednesday to bolster new initiatives for housing affordability included in the recently-unveiled 2022 federal budget.
Minister for Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould (Liberal–Burlington), said the federal government’s focus on housing in the 2022 budget has measures to make all types of housing a more affordable.
“What I think is exciting about Budget 2022 is it goes right from affordable housing and helping low income Canadians and people with specific needs, to making sure we’re building more housing stock and supporting Canadians looking to buy houses,” Gould said.
“It really is that full spectrum of responding to the needs in the market.”
Gould was joined by MP Irek Kusmierczyk and Ward 8 Coun. Gary Kaschak at 3100 Meadowbrook Lane, the site of Windsor’s newest affordable housing development. Officials with the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (WECHC) said they hope to welcome tenants to the building later this year.
Ami Patel, the chief financial officer for WECHC, said she is excited by measures in the budget addressing housing affordability — noting the waitlist for affordable housing in Windsor and Essex County is currently about 6,000 people.
“One of the issues we have is, traditionally people have been able to get into the home ownership market if they’re working and saving enough to make a down payment,” Patel said, noting skyrocketing housing prices.
“So some of the initiatives in the 2022 budget — the (First Home) tax-free savings account, people will able to contribute and grow their savings, so our hope is we do see some relief on the waitlist.”
Meadowbrook Lane is the first new affordable hosing development in Windsor in nearly three decades and will include 145 units across multiple programs for different types of housing.
Patel said the WECHC is looking to hear more details on the housing accelerator fund, which the federal government bills as $4-billion over five years to build new housing and incentivize municipal housing planning.
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Gould also cited the two-year foreign homebuyer ban as one measure to help affordability. And as minister for children and families, Gould said that other federal government programs — like the recently-announced affordable childcare deal — can help overall.
“When you’re paying $1,000 a month in childcare, for many people that’s equivalent to a second mortgage, Gould said. “There’s going to be a huge impact on the bottom line for families when we’re taking all of these measures together.
“Now with these measures, when it comes to housing, it’s really about assisting Canadians with the rising cost of living and making sure everyone has a fair chance.”
Following her visit in Windsor, Gould was in Chatham Wednesday afternoon for a visit at a local housing co-operative.