CMHC says claim it is researching federal home equity tax is "misleading"

Crown corporation says home equity tax is not the focus of the upcoming housing research

CMHC says claim it is researching federal home equity tax is "misleading"
Duffie Osental

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has called a claim that it is researching a federal home equity tax “misleading.”

An article in Blacklock’s Reporter claimed that the federal government is eying a home equity tax and that CMHC is spending $250,000 to research the initiative at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) School of Population. However, CMHC told Yahoo Finance Canada in an email that it was “not accurate” that the research is for a home equity tax.

The Crown corporation clarified its position in a reply to a tweet from Paul Vieira, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal’s Ottawa bureau, saying that Blacklock’s “convo & headline are misleading.”

In its own tweet, CMHC further clarified that “a home equity tax is NOT the focus of the upcoming housing research.”

While CMHC really is funding an initiative with UBC organization Generation Squeeze, the corporation said that the purpose of the project is to identify affordable housing solutions.

“As part of this initiative, CMHC has contributed $250,000 in funding for an 18-month project to work with Generation Squeeze and other stakeholders to establish a Solution Lab that will examine issues relating to housing, wealth, and inequality,” CMHC said in a statement. “While the project includes a research component, it is primarily focused on confirming the issues and working with a wide range of stakeholders to find potential solutions that would result in improving housing affordability for all Canadians.”

Answering a request for clarification from industry association Mortgage Professionals Canada, Liberal MP Adam Vaughn confirmed the government “have not asked for such a study and are not aware of any such study, nor has CMHC commissioned one to our knowledge.”