VANCOUVER, BC – Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN, formerly GVHBA) Past Chair, and CHBA 2nd Vice President Larry Clay responding to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s 2019 fiscal plan said: ‘HAVAN welcomes the Federal Government’s targeted support of first-time home buyers and taking steps to address lack of housing supply, however we would have preferred a higher cap for the Shared Equity Plan, to better reflect the reality of housing prices in Metro Vancouver.’
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive introduces shared equity mortgages for qualified first-time buyers, an approach which the Canadian Home Builder’s Association (CHBA) has recommended for some time as a very good tool for helping those who can’t get into homeownership but have the means to pay rent.
CHBA addressing the Federal Budget recommends the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, if coupled with immediate adjustments to the stress test, has the potential for getting the housing continuum functioning again, noting a recent survey of its members across Canada found that the number of first-time home buyers fell by one-third between 2017 and 2018, and 95% of members who responded reported that the stress test was the number one issue affecting buyers and sales. The budget notes that the government would adjust the stress test if economic conditions warrant, to support access to housing while safeguarding financial stability.
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive also includes the doubling of incentives for the buyer purchasing a new home. Clay noted ‘this is seen by HAVAN as a positive step in addressing Vancouver’s housing supply and will help offset any subsequent pressure on housing prices generated through uptake of the first-time buyer program.’
HAVAN also strongly supports the Housing Supply Challenge with $300 million allocated for local governments to find innovative ways to break down barriers to bringing new housing to market. Clay said ‘HAVAN continuously works with provincial and local governments to implement best practices in the approval of new housing projects, to help bring an efficient supply of required housing forms to market, citing the HAVAN’s Housing Approvals Study on municipal Best Practices, and ongoing initiatives listed in HAVAN’s 2019 Update.’
Clay added ‘we are also very encouraged the Budget called for the creation of an Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply and Affordability,’ noting ‘HAVAN would welcome the opportunity to be part of the Panel discussions,’ strongly recommending ‘the Panel strike regional subcommittees to examine the unique problems in the nation’s most acute housing markets, namely Toronto and Vancouver.’
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The Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN), represents 1,100+ members who build over 65% of Metro Vancouver’s homes. HAVAN provides both industry and consumer education, and actively liaises with local municipal governments with the focus of meeting Metro Vancouver’s housing needs. A not-for-profit association established in 1974, HAVAN is proudly affiliated with both the provincial CHBA BC, and national CHBA offices.