NDP would help first-time home buyers with down payment: Horwath

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An Ontario New Democrat government would provide first-time home buyers with loans equal to 10 per cent of the purchase price to be repaid when the property is sold, Chief Andrea Horwath said.

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The party also promises to raise the non-resident speculation tax to 20% from the current 15%, and apply it across the province to counter “deep-pocketed” investors who it says are making drive up real estate prices, she said.

The NPD Homes in Ontario (HOP) program would also encourage the construction of affordable housing such as townhouses.

“This is a serious, serious issue,” Horwath said during an announcement in Stratford on Thursday. “What New Democrats have done is come up with a plan that will address many aspects of the housing crisis that, unfortunately, other governments have failed to address over time.

Under the NDP’s plan, first-time buyers with an income of less than $200,000 a year could access home equity loans of up to 10% of the value of the property to be repaid when buyers sell or move.

Buyers could choose to pay off the home equity loan sooner, the NPD says.

“It would help with that down payment and give young people and first-time home buyers hope that they can afford a home,” Horwath said.

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House prices are being pushed up by “runaway speculation”, bought by foreign investors who see properties as financial assets rather than homes to live in, she said.

“So we have to limit that,” she said.

The plan would also emphasize the need to build affordable housing, she said.

Ontario voters head to the polls on June 2.

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