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Tory MP Listening for Housing Solutions

Scott Aitchison was in St. Catharines, and heard about declaring a building a municipal asset to reduce cost

Canada's Conservative Shadow Minister of Housing is hearing what he calls a unique idea to get more affordable housing built.

Scott Aitchinson was in St. Catharines yesterday, meeting with housing stakeholders.

He says a private developer is building supportive housing, with help from social agencies, but they need to reduce costs.  "The city got involved, and was able to create a system in which they declared the building a municipal asset, and therefore they were able to waive property taxes on the building for the next number of years."

He adds government approval processes need trimming, and development fees are simply passed to the home buyer.

He says the Conservative approach is reducing taxes and barriers, thereby enabling growth.

"One of the things I've learned as I've crossed the country, and it's certainly true here in Niagara, is that government is an impediment in getting more homes built.  Whether it's the local approvals process, whether it's charges and fees, whether it's provincial policy."

He adds problems such as addiction won't get solved until everyone has a place to live.

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