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MPC applauds Federal Government's initial adjustment to mortgage stress test

by Mortgage Professionals Canada | Feb 24, 2020
Reaction to the announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau to adjust the mortgage stress test.

Canada's voice of mortgage professionals addressed federal mortgage eligibility policies that are unnecessarily preventing many Canadians from achieving their goal of home ownership at a press conference on Parliament Hill earlier today.

Housing affordability and accessibility was a major issue of concern for many voters during the 2019 federal elections. Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) recommendations were adopted by two of three federal parties to improve access to housing for Canadians that would have qualified under the previous federal regulations. MPC recommendations, which are based on industry research, consumer surveys and polling, ask policymakers to create a path forward for Canadians struggling to enter the housing market.

"For years now, we have seen Canadians finding it increasingly challenging to enter the home ownership market," said Paul Taylor, President and CEO of MPC at the press conference. "The increased regulation on Canadian mortgage qualification is decreasing competition and increasing costs, ultimately harming consumers' accessibility."

MPC welcomed Tuesday's announcement by Finance Minister Bill Morneau to adjust the mortgage stress test as a good "first step." Since its implementation, many credit-worthy Canadians from coast to coast have been disqualified from homeownership because of regulatory changes to mortgage eligibility and insurability. For several years, Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) has asked policymakers for a more reasonable stress test level, lending restriction reforms and other adjustments needed to improve housing affordability and Canada's overall economy.

MPC also highlighted that the new First Time Home Buyers Incentive Plan is not achieving the level of support the Government of Canada likely projected.

"Based on feedback from our members and the current data, we do not except to see the level of activity increase. We anticipate regional pockets where the First Time Home Buyers Incentive will be more supportive, in which housing prices are already more attainable than other parts of Canada," said Elaine Taylor, Chair of MPC's Board of Directors. "Our requests for adjustments are made in the interest of supporting access to home ownership for younger, aspiring middle class Canadians, whose long term economic well-being has been disproportionately disadvantaged by the current regulatory requirements,"

"The Government needs to be ready to take quick action to help worthy Canadians enter the housing market and achieve their goal of home ownership. We have solutions and we hope the government will listen closely and work to alleviate these issues," concluded Elaine Taylor.