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When Canada’s 2019 budget news broke a few weeks ago (catch up if you need to), Canadians were handed a layout to affordable housing — with new incentives to boot.
The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTGBI) allows home buyers to reduce the amount of money they need for an insured mortgage. Budget 2019 also vowed to help build 42,500 new housing units across Canada, with a special focus on low rental housing.
Which begs the question — just what is ‘affordable’ to Canadians and does this number match up across the country?
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“To some, ‘affordable housing’ is another word for social or public housing where the government either owns, subsidizes, or has a stake in that housing. Others interpret it as more modestly priced market homes,” says Josef Filipowicz, Senior Policy Analyst at the Fraser Institute.
Filipowicz says allocating 30% of one’s income to housing is a common benchmark, but only partially helps.
“Some people might be willing to spend more to live in a certain type of home, neighbourhood, or city without necessarily needing to,” he says. “Or they may have a lot of money but little to no income, such as some retirees.”