Home Ownership in Our Region
Our region has one of the highest home ownership in the country. I have been a homeowner myself since 1974. This pride in ownership is reflected in the beautiful homes we see throughout the city and in the number of awards won every year (most recent, “Four Blooms Award”).
There is much to celebrate about home ownership in our region, and as Budget and Finance chair I have helped establish some clear objectives to ensure that we streamline the process of building and owning a home, while maintaining taxes and user fees at a reasonable level, so that we can all enjoy a great quality of life.
Taxation and Home Values
My goal on re-entering municipal politics in 2014 was to bring back financial accountability at City Hall.
I pledged to bring taxes down to a more reasonable level from a projected high of 6-7% increases (Chamber of Commerce Study by Lakehead University), and through a respectful and collaborative effort with management and staff of the city, cost controls of budget items, a program of continuous improvement (finding ways of doing things better, working smarter), and economic growth and expansion, taxes were reduced to a much lower 2.43% increase in the 2018 budget (below the cost of Municipal inflation of around 3% but still higher than the consumer price index of just below 2%). This was accomplished without cutting services and after a reduction of $23 million in taxable assessment from Resolute, Grain elevators and Canadian Tires.
Home Constructions and Sales
The last four years appear to have been one of improvement for housing, multi-residential and condos start with the combined total value of building permits going higher than the last 15-year average.
The above issues of taxation for residential and multi-residential properties, having affordable homes for young families starting out or seniors moving into condos or rental units, keeping user fees low, controlling cost of new home construction, are directly linked to the economic opportunities and clear vision for the future of our region, especially in relation to planning and development for housing that takes full account of our changing demographics.
I have identified 3 key priorities. They are:
- A clear sense of direction for our region especially in the areas of housing development for the expected growth in mining
- Job Creation through business retention and expansion of the Small & Medium-Sized companies that create over 80 percent of the jobs
- The need for a new approach to crime prevention and community safety, to enable us to attract more young families and grow our region.
As your Member of Parliament, I will work to ensure that puchasing a home is not out of reach for our region’s citizens.