Federal Budget 2021 – Housing Policy Highlights

The federal government unveiled its highly anticipated budget today, which didn’t include any substantive measures aimed at cooling the much talked about heated housing market, as some had anticipated.
The $354-billion budget was the first budget document delivered in two years. It included the announcement of a new national child-care program, new money to encourage energy efficient home retrofits, new public transportation funding and more. 
Notably absent were any measures aimed directly at cooling Canada’s heated housing market, including no change to the primary residence capital gains exemption, to the relief of many homeowners. 
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland did announce a new 1% vacant property tax aimed at foreign ownership. The tax pales in comparison to B.C.’s and Ontario’s foreign buyer taxes. This vacant property tax will take effect starting Jan. 1, 2022, and the government expects it will generate $700 million in revenue over four years starting 2022-23. 
“The idea here is that homes are for Canadians to live in,” Freeland told reporters. “They are not assets for parking offshore money.”
Additionally, the budget earmarks $3.8 billion to accelerate the building, repairing and support of 35,000 affordable housing units. $2.5 billion of that is specifically earmarked for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).