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The Globe and Mail

Harper sets target of 700,000 new homeowners by 2020

Conservative leader Stephen Harper speaks to supporters in Saint John on Sept. 10, 2015. The Conservatives are setting a target of creating 700,000 new homeowners by 2020.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The Conservatives are setting a target of creating 700,000 new homeowners by 2020.

Party leader Stephen Harper says a combination of previous tax breaks and new promises makes that a realistic goal.

They include commitments made on this campaign to expand the home buyers' plan, establish a permanent home renovation tax credit and measures to address foreign ownership of Canadian residential real estate.

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Harper says home ownership provides Canadians with financial stability and strengthens communities.

According to information provided by the party, the target would raise Canada's home ownership rate to approximately 72.5 per cent. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., citing information from Statistics Canada's National Household Survey, says the home ownership rate was 69.0 per cent as of 2011, the most current data available.

Harper made the announcement at a new home development site in the Toronto-area city of Vaughan.

Cabinet minister Julian Fantino is fighting for re-election in one of the area's ridings, Vaughan-Woodbridge, while the Conservatives are also seeking to win the newly-created riding of King-Vaughan.

The announcement of a target for the impact of political promises mirrors a commitment from the Conservatives exactly one week ago that their policies would create 1.3 million net new jobs by 2020.

Observers were split on whether that was a realistic number, but Harper said the plan was run by experts.

He's saying the same Tuesday about his goal for home ownership, noting the target was based on projections from CMHC and the Canadian Home Builders Association.

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Both have set projections of ownership growth of more than 140,000 per year until 2021.

"Our Conservative government's low-tax balanced-budget plan will ensure that home ownership is within reach for even more Canadians," he said.

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