©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Homes under construction are seen in a neighborhood in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 17, 2023. REUTERS/Lars Hagberg/File Photo
(Reuters) – Canadian Housing Minister Sean Fraser is evaluating a wide range of options as he looks to ease the country’s housing crisis, CBC reported on Sunday.
“There are a range of incentives that we are currently considering. Some could include potential tax incentives for builders to build. Others could include other low-cost financing schemes,” the report quoted Fraser in an interview with CBC.
Fraser is also considering eliminating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on affordable housing projects and dedicating federal lands to rental properties, the report said.
Fraser told CBC the main objectives were to use funds previously allocated to existing programs more quickly and effectively, ensure Canada could utilize its construction workforce and support relatively underdeveloped industries such as factory-built housing.
Canada is facing a housing affordability crisis, blamed on an increase in the number of migrants and international students, fueling demand for housing just as rising costs have slowed construction.
The unexpected contraction of the economy in the second quarter was largely due to the decline in residential investment and lower inventory build-up, but also to slower international exports and household spending.