March 8, 1968

LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

Yes, Mr. Chairman, this is for new housing.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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NDP

John Gilbert

New Democratic Party

Mr. Gilbert:

Can the minister give us some details of the anticipated amount of money the government will be spending on housing this year as compared with last year?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

I do not have those figures in front of me. My hon. friend knows that we are concentrating on certain areas such as public housing, urban renewal, sewage, student residences, homes for the aged and limited dividend housing. I should point out to my hon. friend that we have had a great many applications for limited dividend housing projects, probably more than we will be able to facilitate this year.

We are looking into these applications and we will make sure that the projects are spread across the country. They will not all go to Toronto and Montreal, as someone suggested earlier. The total amount of money that we are making available in these areas is in the neighbourhood of $650 million. Present indications are that housing starts this year will reach the 175,000 level, that is, basic residences, rental residences and dwellings. On top of this we anticipate that there will be another 10,000 or 12,000 units covering university residences for married couples and single persons, and hostel accommodation for

March 8, 1968

elderly people. From this point of view and at this time, this year looks as though it will be pretty good for housing. But that does not solve all the problems.

If we were going into a lengthy debate I would like to deal with some of the ideas that my hon. friend has raised. I am also informed that we will be able to reach the economic council's objective of 585,000 homes to be built over the next three years. I think we can do this, but as I said earlier, this would not solve all the housing problem. It would not solve the main problem, the one I am particularly concerned with, and that is how we provide a house for the fellow earning between $5,000 and $7,000 a year. I have given my ideas on this subject when speaking outside the house, and I look forward to mentioning them in the house on a future occasion.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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PC

George Louis Chatterton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Chaiterlon:

Can the minister assure us that the $75 million reduction to which the Minister of Finance has referred will not come from money that is to be spent on public housing?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

None of this will come out of public housing.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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NDP

Melville Carlyle Germa

New Democratic Party

Mr. Germa:

Mr. Chairman, I was interested in the minister's statement that there had been an increase in applications for limited dividend housing. Are these applications coming from the private sector or from non-profit organizations?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

These are mainly coming from the private side. A limited dividend corporation is a separate corporation created to build housing units for rental purposes, on which the returns to the owners of the corporation are limited to 5 per cent. There are certain tax advantages in them, and they are mainly built by people who are in the contracting business or housing rental business.

There is no limit on the funds we have available for organizations that want to build low rental homes for the elderly. We anticipate we will have all the necessary funds available for this kind of housing this year, and we also think that in the public housing field our funds will be quite adequate.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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PC

George Louis Chatterton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Chatterton:

Will this apply to student housing also? There will be enough money to cover any applications that come in?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

I think there will be no problem. I base my estimates on the forecasts given me by the officials of C.M.H.C., and they foresee no difficulty.

National Housing Act

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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NDP

John Gilbert

New Democratic Party

Mr. Gilbert:

Would the minister tell us if the government has abandoned the idea of setting up a federal-provincial council on housing and urban development?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

Mr. Chairman, I would like to indicate that this idea has not been abandoned; but I have not been the minister responsible for housing for too long a period of time. This is one of the things I have been considering with the officials of C.M.H.C. and with my advisers.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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PC

Siegfried John Enns

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Enns:

Mr. Chairman, the minister spoke about not wanting to make detailed calculations on how this legislation would apply to specific cases, and we can appreciate this. However, I think it should be pointed out that although additional moneys will help substantially to improve the housing situation, the average citizen will still encounter difficulty in view of current high interest rates.

Payment of interest and principal on a $14,000 loan over a 25 year period at 6 per cent would be $89.85 monthly, which is a reasonable payment for accommodation. At 7 per cent this rises to $98.06. At 8 per cent it rises to $106.85, and at 9 per cent, which is the rate at which we are selling money at present, it rises to $115.92, which in many cases is more than 25 per cent of a person's income.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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NDP

Melville Carlyle Germa

New Democratic Party

Mr. Germa:

I wish to ask another question concerning limited dividend housing. I think it is pretty well known that limited dividend housing fell on its head because of certain indiscreet acts by the private sector a few years ago, whereby these projects were abandoned because private individuals tried to maximize their profits through various nefarious means. Has the minister anything to offer which will guarantee that the same situation will not happen again?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

Mr. Chairman, we are looking very carefully at the applicants for limited divided housing construction. We are trying to assure in every way that the C.M.H.C. can be certain there will be none of this business of building a limited dividend project, getting your profit out, and leaving it. We will do our utmost to avoid this, and my officials assure me that they believe they can avoid it under present circumstances.

e (5:20 p.m.)

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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NDP

John Gilbert

New Democratic Party

Mr. Gilbert:

In view of the intended amendment in respect of the change to the

March 8, 1968

National Housing Act

loan ratio of mortgages, does the minister intend changing the ratio from that under the N.H.A.?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Edgar John Benson (President of the Treasury Board)

Liberal

Mr. Benson:

That is not proposed in this particular piece of legislation. I should like to assure my hon. friend that this is under consideration at the present time, and that when I bring in some more comprehensive changes to the National Housing Act, I hope during the next session of parliament, consideration will be given to this matter.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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Clause agreed to. Title agreed to.


LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

Shall I report the bill.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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?

Some hon. Members:

On division.

Bill reported and read the third time and passed.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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LIB

Herman Maxwell Batten (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

Do I understand there was some prior agreement to adjourn when this particular item was completed?

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE RATIOS FOR INSURED LOANS
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March 8, 1968