2022 federal budget pledges housing support

By staff

This year’s 2022 federal budget is promising more opportunities to buy a house, with a little more than $10 billion for housing-related initiatives, which is a third of all new spending, as presented by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland yesterday.

One measure to start, which was a 2021 election promise by the Liberals, will be the implementation of a two-year ban on foreigners from buying residential properties in the country. This does not include cottages or recreational properties. Also, permanent residents, foreign workers and students are exempt from this moratorium, including foreigners who are buying a primary residence.

Another measure to help get Canadians with home ownership is the tax-free First Home Savings Account, which will allow Canadians under 40 to save up to $40,000 towards the purchase of a first home. Contributions will be tax-deductible and withdrawals made towards a purchase of a first home would not be taxed. Over five years, the support amounts to $725 million.

Another initiative to help with housing is the launch of a Housing Accelerator Fund, which hopes to help municipalities speed up housing development. It’s expected to create 100,000 new housing units. It will cost $4 billion over five years. The rapid housing initiative continues and offers $1.5 million, delivered over two years to help create 6,000 new housing units to help address homelessness.

Other budget highlights include:

Dental care for all

The national dental care program, which was made possible by the Liberal-NDP agreement, will be supported by $5.3 billion over five years and $1.7 billion each year after.

The program starts this year, providing care to children under 12 and will expand to include Canadians under 18, seniors and people with disabilities in 2023. Full implementation is expected by 2025. Families with incomes of less than $90,000 a year are eligible.

No announced major funding for health care

However, Freeland did say to reporters before the budget that there will be a meeting between the federal government and provinces and the territories to decide on increasing to the Canada Health Transfer.