New measures for first-time home buyers among the issues discussed
Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer says a meeting he had last week at Laval city hall with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered a rare opportunity to touch base with the country’s leader on issues directly impacting the Laval region.
During the meeting on April 13, Boyer told Trudeau that the moment had arrived to create a new working committee to deal with the ongoing issue of the future “Le Vieux Pen,” the abandoned former Saint-Vincent-de-Paul penitentiary in east-end Laval.
Future of ‘Le Vieux Pen’
Although it has been recognized by the federal government as a national historic site, nothing has been done to move things forward, and the sprawling site is steadily deteriorating. Despite this, Boyer maintains the old peninentiary has great historic value and could be recycled into something useful.
The mayor also spoke to Trudeau about mass transit issues. While noting that 70 per cent of greenhouse gases produced in Laval come from gas engine vehicles, he said the city administration would like to be able to offer a wider range of alternative forms of transportation which leave less of a carbon imprint.
In addition to these issues, talk between Mayor Boyer and the Prime Minister also revolved around the protection of Laval’s natural and green spaces, as well as the need for more social housing and for improvements to public security.
He said that by the end of the meeting, it seemed apparent that he and Prime Minister Trudeau held many views in common, including greater access to affordable housing, accessibility by families to important everyday commodities like food at reasonable prices, climate change, and protective and proactive measures to counter violence.
“It goes without saying that I thanked the Prime Minister warmly for his visit and his willingness to listen to the needs of all Laval residents,” added Mayor Boyer.
In other matters addressed during the meeting, Trudeau told journalists the federal government is doing as much as it can to address things like higher interest rates, which are raising the cost of bank loans, including variable-rate mortgages, while making it harder than ever for young families in particular to acquire a first home.
For first-time home buyers
“In the budget we put forward a plan to address the housing crisis that too many families are living through,” said Trudeau. In Laval, the median price for a single-family home rose 67 per cent over the past five years, to $559,000, according to a recent report by the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers.
In Laval, the median price for a single-family home rose 67 per cent over the past five years
In addition to a tax-free savings account that can be used for the purchase of a first house, Trudeau said the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year included measures to double housing construction starts across the country and to take action against speculation, such as limiting market access of foreign buyers.
Tax credits and incentives
In a statement issued on the same day Prime Minister Trudeau met with Mayor Boyer, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) highlighted the following additional measures in the 2022 budget to assist first-time home-buyers:
- Doubling the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to $10,000 to provide up to $1,500 in direct support to home buyers. This will apply to homes purchased on or after January 1, 2022.
- Extending the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to March 31, 2025, allowing first-time home buyers to lower their monthly payments.
- Encouraging Canadians to save for and buy their first home by investing $200 million to help develop and scale up rent-to-own projects across Canada.