Ottawa Real Estate Board Statement on the 2023 Federal Budget

March 30, 2023

Housing, and the challenges faced by Canadians with respect to housing, has been a major theme in headlines across the country for a number of years. REALTORS® of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) and throughout Canada have long been advocating for measures to alleviate what was a growing concern — the housing supply shortage.

Commenting on the housing elements of Budget 2023 cannot be done without looking back at last year when the federal government formally recognized that a chronic shortage of housing supply is at the heart of the housing affordability crisis. Budget 2022 recognized that housing policy is economic policy. It’s not a surprise then with last year’s lofty goals that housing investments for 2023 are mostly re-announcements, re-commitments, and status updates on not-yet-implemented measures, such as the Home Buyers’ Bill of Rights.

It is encouraging to see that the budget shows a concerted effort toward increasing supply across the housing continuum. For example, the government’s intention to support reallocating funds from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund’s repair stream to its new construction stream.

We’re also happy to see a commitment to ensuring that Canadians have fair and equitable access to relief measures appropriate to the circumstances they’re facing with respect to mortgage financing. We’ve long been in favour or extending amortization payments and welcome the suggestion of adjustment payment schedules and the authorization of lump-sum payments.

Housing is a basic human need, and we look to the federal government to take a leadership role in getting Canadians into affordable homes. We recognize, of course, that sustainable action from all three levels of government is the only way to impact housing policy meaningfully.

Budget 2023 is another step in the right direction. The investments that will be made are considerable, but they are not sufficient to address the housing supply crisis.

With that said, OREB and our Member REALTORS® will continue to advocate for effective solutions to the housing crisis and supply shortages. We’ll continue to advocate for a permanent national housing round table that convenes the various authorities, builders, real estate professionals, Indigenous partners and civil society organizations to ensure that budget items, like the Housing Accelerator Fund, are implemented as effectively as possible.

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