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Canada to lease government land in plan to add millions of homes



The Canadian government is set to lease public land to developers to address the country's housing crisis. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the plan, aiming to build nearly 3.9 million homes by 2031. This initiative involves utilizing underused government land, such as abandoned industrial sites, defunct government properties, and schools with low enrollment.


The plan falls short by 1.2 million units of the projected need from 2023 to 2030, as estimated by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The Liberal government has introduced several measures to tackle the housing shortage, and the issue is expected to be a significant focus in the upcoming federal budget.


Other measures include changes to capital-cost tax structures to encourage institutional builders to construct more homes, extending low-cost loans, and combating mortgage fraud, which inflates housing costs. Mike Moffatt of the Task Force for Housing and Climate estimates that achieving the target of 3.9 million homes will require an investment of about CAD 2 trillion (USD 1.5 trillion).


The move comes in response to surging housing and rental prices, driven by rapid population growth, inflation, and high interest rates. This housing initiative is crucial for Trudeau's Liberal government, which is trailing behind the Conservatives in opinion polls ahead of the next federal election, slated for October 2025.


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