NDP promises 1.5 million homes over next decade

The NDP is promising 1.5 million new homes over the next decade to ease the housing crunch — a plan that includes more duplexes and triplexes, affordable units and an easing of rules so that garages and basements can be turned into rentals.

“We have a plan that will give you a lifeline, give you that chance to own your own home,” said Leader Andrea Horwath at a campaign stop in Burlington on Friday morning on day three of the election campaign leading up to the June 2 election .

The plan, which she first announced last November, would entail the creation of a new agency, Housing Ontario that would lead to 250,000 affordable homes run by non-profit or co-op housing providers.

First-time buyers, with combined incomes of less than $200,000, would be able to get loans to help with down payments that don’t have to be repaid until they move and the property is sold.

An NDP government would also establish full rent control, so that when tenants move out new renters won’t see massive increases, and that renters who leave during renovations don’t have to pay more when they return.

The party estimates the plan would initially cost $3.7 billion over four years, but would be partially offset by a speculation tax and vacancy taxes, and taxes on pre-construction condo flipping.

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford, who was in Bowmanville Friday, said his party has planned for 150,000 homes a year.

“We had stakeholders from right around the province come together,” Ford said. “But most importantly, and we’re doing this, the province is giving the tools to the municipalities number one to standardize the process right across the province to speed up getting the permits out there, cutting red tape and regulation compared to the NDP and Liberals.”

He said the other parties “don’t believe in development — they just don’t. They don’t believe in supporting development. They’re anti-development. They’re anti-building roads and bridges.”

With files from Robert Benzie

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