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Here's what Trudeau says the upcoming federal budget will offer renters



The Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is gearing up to introduce significant measures in the upcoming federal budget aimed at addressing the challenges faced by renters across the country. Among the key initiatives is the creation of a new "Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights," which seeks to enhance transparency in the rental market.


One of the central components of this proposed legislation is the requirement for landlords to disclose the rental price history of their properties to prospective tenants. This move aims to empower renters by providing them with crucial information that can enable them to negotiate rental agreements more effectively.


In addition to the Renters’ Bill of Rights, Prime Minister Trudeau has outlined two other key measures that will be included in the forthcoming budget. These include the establishment of a housing aid fund and an initiative to integrate rental payments into individuals' credit scores.


The need for such measures is underscored by the prevailing imbalance between rental demand and supply in many major Canadian cities. According to data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., rental demand has consistently outpaced supply, leading to rising rental costs and declining vacancy rates.


The average monthly rent for a purpose-built two-bedroom apartment stood at $1,359, while condo rental costs averaged $2,049 per month. With Canada's overall vacancy rate hitting a new low of 1.5 percent, tenants are increasingly facing challenges in finding affordable housing options.


The proposed Renters’ Bill of Rights aims to address these challenges by empowering renters to bargain fairly and protect their rights. Additionally, the federal government plans to allocate $15 million to provincial legal aid services to assist tenants facing issues such as unjustified rent increases and "renovictions."


However, the implementation of these measures will require collaboration and cooperation from provincial governments, which may present challenges. Some tenant advocates have expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of the proposed aid fund, suggesting that it may not adequately address the needs of tenants across the country.


Furthermore, the government intends to amend the Canadian Mortgage Charter to include rental payments in individuals' credit history. This move is aimed at providing renters with the opportunity to build credit and improve their financial standing, similar to homeowners who benefit from mortgage payments contributing to their credit score.


The upcoming federal budget, scheduled to be presented in April, is expected to prioritize housing affordability and address the pressing concerns of Canadians, particularly in light of inflationary pressures and impending mortgage renewals. While the government aims to strike a balance between addressing these challenges and maintaining fiscal prudence, the proposed measures signal a significant step towards supporting renters and enhancing housing affordability in Canada.


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