Q: Housing is a human necessity. But many in Simcoe-Grey are not able to afford a roof over their heads. The cost of living continues to rise while the price of housing and rent skyrockets well beyond affordability for the average person. What would your party do to address this?
Nick Clayton, Green: When people can’t afford to live in the communities in which they work, problems arise, not the least of which is poverty and food insecurity. The local economy also suffers, and there are labour shortages, as we are currently experiencing.
One part of the solution is to decrease the gap between earnings and housing costs in communities. A guaranteed livable income will help achieve this, as it sets the floor for wages based on the cost of living in a given area.
Another solution is to stabilize home prices (prices go up fast, but rarely come down, and we want to avoid a housing bubble, which has been threatening for years now). I would support an “empty home tax” on foreign buyers and investors, and even second properties used as rental properties. This would help correct the cost of housing to keep it more in line with local economies, thus making housing more attainable.
Another federal solution is to increase funding for cooperative and non-profit housing. Since the 1990’s, federal investment in housing has plummeted. We need a national strategy that removes much of the financial and regulatory burden from municipalities so they can get on with creating spaces.
Check out the responses from the other Candidates….