A federal election is underway and voting day is Monday, Sept 20, 2021. Housing is a priority for Canadians, so here are housing issues and questions for the candidates:

 GST New Home Rebate

BC has the highest average home price in Canada – $891,369, double the maximum purchase price of $450,000 for the GST New Home Rebate. Since inception in 1991, inflation has eroded the rebate to minimal or non-existent.

 Will you and your party adjust the rebate to today’s home prices and index to inflation?

 Link Grants to Efficient Development Processes

The federal government offers significant infrastructure grants to municipalities, many of whom obstruct housing through slow development processes.

 Will you and your party link infrastructure grants to more efficient development processes?

 Home Renovation Rebate

The federal government approved asbestos in building materials and subsidized asbestos insulation through the Canada Home Insulation Program (CHIP). A renovation rebate would promote health and safety in the abatement of asbestos found in insulation, stucco, roof shingles, floor tiles and more.

 Will you and your party support a Home Renovation Rebate?

 Capital Gains Tax Deferral

More housing supply, including rental, is needed to keep pace with our growing population. Deferring the capital gains tax will increase investment in rentals and affordable housing.

 Will you and your party support deferral of the capital gains tax on property sales when the proceeds are reinvested in new rental construction and affordable housing?

 No Capital Gains Tax on Sale of Principal Homes

The federal government is studying a capital gains tax on the sale of principal residences. Affordability is an issue of insufficient new supply and a tax on principal homes will only rob seniors of their retirement income.

 Will you and your party commit to no capital gains tax on the sale of principal homes?

These are a few issues that the federal government can address to improve housing affordability, health and safety, and retirement future of Canadians.

This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.

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