Press Releases

Home Builders Look Forward to Housing Policy Discussions with New Ministers

November 4, 2015

OTTAWA (November 4, 2015) – Following today’s swearing in of the new federal Cabinet, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) welcomed several new Ministers with housing-related portfolios.

“Housing and home ownership are central to the lives of Canadians,” said CHBA CEO Kevin Lee. “Our home builder, developer and renovator members are keen to continue the discussion on housing affordability with the new government.”

The new government already has plans to increase investment in municipal infrastructure and transit, modernize and index the RRSP Home Buyers’ Plan, and encourage rental housing construction, all of which can support housing affordability.  Given the importance of housing to Canadians, and the key role of the residential construction sector to the economy, CHBA will continue to seek measures to address affordability, jobs, and the underground economy. 

“If all levels of government effectively implement smart policy to address housing affordability (that is market-based housing people can afford), it will reduce the demand for, and costs to government, of social housing (often referred to as affordable housing),” Lee said.  “Creating an environment where more Canadians can afford market-based housing will enable those in the most urgent need that can’t afford market-based housing on their own to be housed properly.”

The cross-cutting nature of residential building, development and renovation issues means that many federal government Ministers, departments and agencies have a role in Canadian housing policy.  CHBA is therefore pleased to welcome the following Ministers to their important posts related to housing:

Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development: responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). CMHC provides critical technical and socio-economic housing research, as well as mortgage insurance and related policy. Also responsible for the government’s social housing support and policy, where federal-provincial-municipal collaboration and innovation can advance the important “affordable housing” agenda for those that can’t afford market-based housing on their own.

MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour: responsible for skilled jobs and training.  The residential construction industry needs 129,000 new skilled workers over the next decade, and the policies of this Minister’s portfolio will be key in that pursuit. 

Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance: responsible for mortgage insurance rules and taxes on new housing and rental construction.  From supporting more well-qualified first-time buyers with 30-year mortgages, to eliminating GST on development taxes, to tax credits for renovation, there are many policy measures this Minister can implement to support housing affordability.

Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue: responsible for addressing the underground economy in residential renovation and new home construction and can make recommendations to Finance on tax credits and other measures to support affordability.

Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities: responsible for infrastructure investment (including transit), which if focused on core infrastructure can support housing affordability and the economic competitiveness of Canada’s communities.  Proper infrastructure investment can offset excessive municipal development taxes, which can be unfair to new home buyers and greatly increase the price of housing.

James Carr, Minister of Natural Resources: responsible, along with industry, for the continued advancement of energy efficiency in Canadian homes.  The housing sector is a leader in energy efficiency and CHBA is leading the way with its Net Zero Energy Housing initiatives.

John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship: responsible for foreign skilled worker and foreign credential recognition programs, which will be key to help provide the 129,000 skilled workers needed by the housing industry over the next decade.

Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism: responsible for Canada’s National Model Construction Codes system through National Research Council Canada and Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, as well as Statistics Canada and its important housing data collection and analysis to support decision-making with respect to the housing sector.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change: responsible for the government’s climate change agenda. Canada’s housing stock, through voluntary measures taken on by builders, developers and renovators, has made Canadian housing a world leader in energy efficiency and the protection of the environment through reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In 2010, there were 35% more homes in Canada than in 1990, but emissions of greenhouse gases from all houses had fallen by nearly 6%.

“CHBA members across the country look forward to working with these new Ministers, the entire cabinet, and all MPs to ensure that Canadians remain the best housed people in the world,” Lee concluded.  “Residential construction is a key economic element of every community in Canada, so we have important discussions to have with the MPs from every riding.”

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For further information, contact:

Kevin Lee, CEO, Canadian Home Builders’ Association, kevin.lee@chba.ca or (613) 230-3060(613) 230-3060

About The Canadian Home Builders' Association

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) is the voice of Canada’s residential construction industry.  Our industry is a vital part of Canada’s economy in every community across the country.  We directly and indirectly support more than 900,000 jobs, paying more than $50 billion in wages.  We generate $125 billion in annual economic activity, and provide over $30 billion in federal and provincial revenues each year.

Representing more than 8,500 small- and medium-sized businesses across Canada, CHBA members include home builders, renovators, land developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, service professionals, municipalities and more.

For more information, visit www.chba.ca.

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