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Canada plans incentives to ease housing burden - CBC

FILE PHOTO: Houses are seen for sale and under construction in a neighbourhood of Ottawa

(Reuters) - Canada's Housing Minister Sean Fraser is evaluating a wide range of options as he looks to ease the housing crisis in the country, CBC reported on Sunday.

"There's a range (of incentives) that we're considering right now. Some could include potential tax incentives for builders to build. Some could include other low-cost financing arrangements," the report quoted Fraser as saying in an interview to CBC.

Fraser is also considering removing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on affordable housing projects and dedicating federal lands to rental housing, the report added.

Fraser told CBC that the main goals were to use funds previously allotted for existing programs more swiftly and effectively, guarantee Canada could use its construction workforce, and support relatively underdeveloped industries like factory-built homes.

Canada is facing a housing affordability crisis, which has been blamed on an increase in migrants and international students, fueling demand for homes just as rising costs have slowed construction.

The economy's unexpected contraction in the second quarter was largely due to declines in housing investment and smaller inventory accumulation as well as slower international exports and household spending.

(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)