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Canada’s economic plan is helping Canadians save for a first home and building more co-op homes, faster

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Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, announced that more than 300,000 Canadians have opened a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account since April 1, 2023, which is making it more affordable for them to save for a down payment.

The Tax-Free First Home Savings Account allows Canadians to contribute up to $8,000 per year (up to a lifetime limit of $40,000) for their first down payment. To help Canadians reach their savings goals, Tax-Free First Home Savings Account contributions are tax deductible on annual income tax returns, like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). And, like a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), withdrawals to purchase a first home—including any investment income on contributions—are non-taxable. Tax-free in; tax-free out.

To maximize 2023 tax return deductions, Tax-Free First Home Savings Account contributions must be made by December 31, 2023. Contributions can also be carried forward to be deducted in future tax years.

To build more homes, faster, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Housing also announced that $71 million has been allocated to help build and repair over 1,600 co-op homes in Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, and New Brunswick, including through the Affordable Housing Fund. This includes:

  • 1,004 homes in Quebec;
  • 422 homes in British Columbia;
  • 132 homes in Ontario; and,
  • 102 homes in New Brunswick.

The 2023 Fall Economic Statement, introduced on November 21, advances the government’s economic plan with new investments to build more homes, faster—including co-ops. This includes an additional $1 billion top-up to the Affordable Housing Fund, which will support non-profit, co-op, and public housing providers to build more than 7,000 new homes by 2028. The Fall Economic Statement also includes a $15 billion top-up to the Apartment Construction Loan Program, which will support the construction of more than 30,000 additional new homes across Canada.

Quotes

“A key focus of our economic plan is making housing more affordable for Canadians. The new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account is an important part of our plan—and it is putting home ownership back within reach for more Canadians every single day.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

“We are working with every level of government, and communities across Canada to help build the homes Canadians need at prices they can actually afford. By unlocking over 1,600 co-op homes across Canada, we are helping Canadians get a roof over their heads and building on this success through further investments in co-ops through the Fall Economic Statement.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing

Background

  • Since 2015, the average annual federal housing investment has more than doubled compared to under the previous government. This year, federal investment in housing is $9 billion higher than it was in 2013-14.
  • Canada's economic plan, including recent investments in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, is building more homes, faster. This includes:
    • Over $14 billion through the Affordable Housing Fund to build 60,000 new affordable homes and repair 240,000 homes;
    • Over $40 billion in low-cost financing to build more than 101,000 new rental homes by 2031-32, through the Apartment Loan Construction Program;
    • The $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, which is using federal funding to encourage municipalities to make transformative changes by removing prohibitive zoning barriers and incentivizing building, and is expected to exceed its goal of creating at least 100,000 new homes across Canada;
    • $4 billion through the Rapid Housing Initiative, which is building more than 12,000 affordable homes for people experiencing homelessness or in severe housing need;
    • Over $200 million through the Federal Lands Initiative to build 4,500 new homes by repurposing surplus federal lands and buildings to housing providers at low or no cost;
    • Over $750 million through the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to support innovative solutions for the next generation of housing in Canada; and,
    • $6.7 billion for housing for First Nations on reserve, and Inuit, Métis, and First Nations Self-Governing and Modern Treaty communities.

Here is an example of how the Tax-Free First Home Savings Account can help Canadians save for their first down payment:

  • Olivia and Amira are looking for a first home in Ontario. They each save the maximum $8,000 per year in their Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, which they can deduct from their income at tax time. They both make between $70,000 and $100,000, which means for every $100 contributed to their Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, they receive $20.50 in federal tax savings—delivering an annual federal tax refund of $1,640.
  • After five years of saving, Olivia and Amira have a combined $90,000 (including $10,000 in investment returns) that they can withdraw, tax-free, for a down payment on their first home. Over five years, they will have benefitted from a combined $18,450 in federal tax relief, in addition to nearly $8,000 in provincial tax relief.
  • They use their Tax-Free First Home Savings Account as a 15 per cent down payment to qualify for a mortgage and purchase their first home for $600,000.
  • When Olivia and Amira file their taxes after buying their first home, they will receive an additional $1,500 in federal tax relief through the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit.

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