Pat Conaghan looks to Canada for suggestions to ease housing stress

PAT Conaghan, the MP for Cowper, suggested that looking to Canada could offer ideas to ease the housing crisis facing the Mid North Coast region.

He said the same supply shortages and growing demand that are being felt on the Coffs coast are also being felt across the country and around the world.

Mr. Conaghan acknowledged that, based on the percentage increases in rents and property values ​​compared to their metropolitan counterparts, it is clear that areas such as the mid-north coast are experiencing more housing stress than most. regions.

He highlighted recent initiatives taken by the Canadian government as it seeks to stem some of the demand pressures currently being experienced in his country, and said Australia should seriously consider them.

For example, Canada recently banned foreign investors from buying residential property and Mr Conaghan said he would like to take their measures further.

He suggested Australia consider a seven-year trial, so the measure can be a better driver of market change.

Although the Ottawa region has stipulated that “summer cottages” are exempt, as a large proportion of regional coastal properties would fall into this category, and the central north coast is experiencing very significant price increases and shortages, Mr. Conaghan thinks that would not be an acceptable exemption.

“Just as we see in Cowper, neighborhoods in Toronto have properties that are either sublet or sit empty for long periods of time so landlords can avoid some taxes and others seek to keep properties available. for more lucrative short-term holiday periods only,” Mr Conaghan said.

“It’s not a situation their growing demographics can handle, and neither can we.”

Toronto introduced a tax of one percent of the total value of the house per year to combat this.

To avoid the tax, the property must be rented a certain number of weeks per year.

Mr Conaghan said it was an appropriate move in this area given the large number of vacation rentals and Airbnbs.

“Obviously, these initiatives are only small steps towards improving the bigger picture, and an increase in housing development projects and a removal of layers of red and green bureaucracy at all levels of government must occur simultaneously. , but we need to look at every possible piece of legislation to make progress in reducing our current crisis,” Conaghan said.

“We need quick, determined and tangible initiatives like these now, and I will be pushing the new government to accelerate action like this as soon as we resume sittings in Canberra.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

Comments are closed.