What is the National Housing Strategy? A Liberal candidate explains

Bruno Uggenti is a real estate lawyer and Hamilton Mountain’s Liberal candidate for the 2019 federal election. In an interview, he speaks about the National Housing Strategy and its roles in reducing homelessness and increasing housing affordability. 

Liberal campaign office
Bruno Uggenti’s campaign office in Hamilton. (Cheska Lim/Toronto Observer)

Bruno Uggenti’s campaign office, located in the city of Hamilton, sits on the very last piece of local road before merging onto Highway 403 West. At 1020 Upper James Street you’ll find Team Uggenti. 

Red signs decorated the front lawn with “Bruno Uggenti, Liberal” written in white. A large metal sign to the side of the building reads the same way, but bigger. Like Uggenti’s presence in the community, it is nearly impossible for residents of the Hamilton Mountain to overlook both the candidate and his headquarters.

Uggenti, 55, is a lawyer at CMU Law – the U standing for his own last name – and his practice primarily focuses on real estate, wills and estates, and commercial law. 

According to the Cancer Assistance Program website, Uggenti has been practicing law for over 27 years in Hamilton, and has been a board member of The Hamilton Community Foundation, The Rotary Club of Hamilton Mountain, the Knights of Columbus, the CYO, the Estate Planners Council of Hamilton, and the Hamilton Law Association. He was the former president of the Cancer Assistance Program.

As Hamilton Mountain’s Liberal candidate in this year’s federal election, housing is one of his priorities.

Uggenti spoke at length about the National Housing Strategy during an interview last Friday. He wants to bridge the gap between the upper and lower middle class, and help those who are homeless.

“Every person in Canada deserves to have decent living accommodations,” Uggenti said.

Launched in 2018, the National Housing Strategy was created by the Liberals with goals of strengthening the middle class, cutting rates of chronic homelessness in half, fuelling the economy and creating a new generation of housing in Canada. 

The 10-year plan has a budget of $55-billion, and, according to Uggenti, is set to help combat homelessness.

“With the creation over the next [10 years] of 140,000 units, that will help to create what’s called housing stock,” Uggenti said.

However, the NHS’ website has only highlighted the creation of 125,000 new homes, while also renovating and remodelling 300,000 pre-existing ones.

Alongside the Liberals’ promise of the NHS, the party has proposed a “First-Time Home Buyer Incentive”.

This incentive will provide young Canadians the opportunity to purchase their first home, at 10 per cent off, if they meet a certain income level.

Mark Agro, 29, is a business owner and manager at Caffé Demetres in the city of Burlington. Currently, Agro owns a condo in Burlington and also a home in Thorold, meaning he cannot qualify for the incentive.

With a baby on the way, buying a home in Thorold was the smart option, but not the best one.

“I could buy a house out there for $350,000 that I can live in, rather than staying in Burlington, where I’m comfortable, because it’s $800,000,” Agro said in an interview last Saturday.

For people like Agro, the Liberal Party of Canada’s affordable housing strategy just means more taxes for him to pay.

“I work two jobs and I make $80-$100,000 a year, then I get taxed so hard so that people can get these [sic] affordable housing,” Agro said.

The Conservative Party of Canada is where Agro’s vote is going in the election.

“I have a child on the way and I’m just trying to do what’s best for my family,” Agro said.

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Posted: Oct 20 2019 3:03 pm
Filed under: News