CFAA believes that:

  • a healthy rental market contributes greatly to Canada’s national well-being and economic prosperity; and
  • landlords and tenants have a common interest in:
    • free rental markets,
    • fair taxation of residential rental property,
    • high industry standards for customer service, and
    • housing assistance that supports tenants’ rights to choose their housing and to move when and if they please.

CFAA advocates reasonable government support for those who cannot adequately address their own housing needs due to disabilities or disadvantages.

At any given time, the political goals on which CFAA focuses vary with what our members think is most important, and with what the CFAA Board thinks can be achieved, depending on the government’s inclinations and priorities and the political, economic and fiscal environment.

The full list of CFAA’s political goals is the following:

TAX POLICY GOALS

1. Obtaining more favourable tax policies for the rental housing industry.

Federal and provincial income tax treatment for rental properties is much less favourable than it was formerly, and in many cases less favourable than the treatment of commercial property or shared or owner occupied homes.

CFAA-FCAPI is pressing for the federal government to:

  • Eliminate the GST/HST on rental housing operations
  • Restore rollover provisions for tax deferral on re-investment;
  • Allow actual cost-plus as a basis for assessment for GST/HST self-supply;
  • Increase the rate of capital cost allowances (CCA).

2. Reversing the bias in government policies which favour home ownership over rental housing.

In the long term, CFAA would like the federal government to:

  • Maintain or reduce the inclusion rate for capital gains;
  • Allow rental housing to qualify for small business tax treatment;
  • Allow CCA deductions against other income;
  • Balance the tax treatment of rental housing with that of owner-occupied housing.

HOUSING AND INCOME POLICY GOALS

3. Obtaining a federal housing policy that permits, or preferably encourages, provinces to use federal affordable housing money for Portable Housing Allowance programs to address affordability issues.

Whether in the form of rent supplements or portable housing allowances, direct assistance to low-income renters is the single most cost-effective and quickest way to reduce housing affordability problems.

Portable housing allowances best respect the rights of low-income tenants to dignity and choice, and should be the first choice of policy makers in most or all Canadian rental markets.

4. Promoting adequate income support for low-income Canadians so that they can afford adequate and suitable rental homes, which they can choose for themselves within the private rental market.

Such income support would generally be in the form of:

  • disability payments for those unable to work,
  • employment insurance for those without work,
  • training benefits for those who are re-training,
  • social assistance for others, and
  • housing benefits, portable housing allowances or rent supplements, particularly for people in areas with high housing costs.

5. Promoting more accurate and appropriate measures of housing affordability.

In particular, promoting:

  • a revision of the 30% standard for affordability to recognize that one and two person households can generally afford to pay somewhat more than 30% of income for housing; and
  • measures which look at housing affordability across the whole population, not merely rental households, since reduced relative rents lead to increased household formation, and increased incomes lead people to buy homes, or to rent apartments by themselves instead of sharing, and those affordability improvements are not reflected in a measure which looks only at the average rent-to-income ratio of rental households.

6. Promoting the provision of operating funding for housing for special needs that are not met by the private sector (e.g. supportive housing for the disabled, the homeless and seniors with special needs, or social service supports in ordinary housing for those who need them), and focusing government funding for building new housing for special needs.

CFAA believes that serving the needs of those with mental or physical disabilities is the right thing to do morally, and also for the betterment of public policy around rental housing.

OTHER GOALS

7. Obtaining government policies on energy and the environment that work for landlords and tenants in the private rental housing sector.

CFAA-FCAPI is pressing the federal government:

  • to give the private residential rental sector equitable and effective access to federal funding for energy efficiency;
  • to ensure that any carbon control programs respect the needs and interests of the private rental housing sector.

8. Obtaining renovation subsidy programs for rental housing to match the home renovation tax credit allowed to home owners, and any other similar programs.

9. Maintaining open immigration into Canada in both good and poor economic times.

10. Supporting our member associations in maintaining or achieving sound public policies in the face of economic change.