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Jagmeet Singh discuses affordable housing in New Brunswick

By Joe Thomson Sep 13, 2023 | 3:04 PM

The NDP’s leader Jagmeet Singh was in Moncton today to talk about the affordable housing crisis.

It’s become much harder than it should be to find a place to live in New Brunswick, and Singh says it should be a federal responsibility to change that.

“Ultimately the federal government has the land, has the power, and the resources to build homes that are really affordable. That’s what we need to do. We need to build more homes that are affordable for people, and we need to do that very quickly,” said Singh.

He criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for delegating the responsibility of housing to the provincial level. Singh also called out Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre and claimed that he does not really care about building affordable housing, saying that Poilievre oversaw the loss of 800,000 affordable homes nation-wide the last time the conservatives were in charge.

He proposed a couple of changes that he says should be made right now that would incentivize building more affordable homes.

“Let’s take the GST and HST off of home builds that are affordable rental, we need affordable rental, let’s incentivize that,” said Singh.

The affordable housing crisis has had a particularly negative effect on young people and students. Many international students at New Brunswick’s universities and colleges have shared stories of having to live in hotels with no other place to go. Singh says the NDP put forward a plan that would address the lack of housing for students.

“What we’re proposing is we need to have a plan where the federal government has a cost sharing mechanism framework to work with provinces and educational institutions to build housing. So a one third sharing between the federal government, the provincial [government], and the educational institution to build affordable housing for students,” said Singh.

He also pointed to commercial buildings that have been left vacant with more and more people opting to work from home, as something that could be converted easily into student housing.