Ontario REALTORS message to Queens Park and Budget Committee

REALTOR Gary Zalepa Jr. Broker at CENTURY 21 City Realty Inc. in Niagara-on-the-Lake, serves as Chairman of the Government Relations Committee for the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). On behalf of Ontario's REALTORS and consumers the following was released as part of OREA's pre-budget submission.

OREA Recommends First Time Home Buying Initiatives for 2009 Provincial Budget


OREA presented its 2009 pre-budget submission to the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Dwight Duncan. OREA's submission recommends stimulating Ontario's economy by encouraging homeownership and promoting greener homes and businesses.


"OREA's 2009 pre-budget submission recommends policies that will help our economy by helping hundreds of low and moderate income Ontario families achieve their dreams of homeownership," said Gary Zalepa Jr., Chair of OREA's Government Relations Committee. "When people buy homes they spend money on other goods and services, building businesses and creating jobs."


OREA's submission recommends the creation of an Ontario First Time Home Buyers Grant that would target low and moderate income applicants with down payment assistance.


"From lower levels of crime to the higher educational achievement of children, the benefits of homeownership to families, communities and our economy are extensive," explained Zalepa Jr. "Encouraging homeownership is good government policy."


OREA's 2009 pre-budget submission also recommends that the provincial government help more Ontarians improve the energy efficiency of their homes by strengthening the retrofit rebates under the Ontario Home Energy Retrofit Program.


"We all have a shared responsibility to protect our environment by reducing our environmental foot print," said Zalepa Jr. "By strengthening the Home Energy Retrofit Program we can help more Ontario homeowners save money on their electricity bills while reducing harmful emissions."


For businesses looking to invest in a new building, OREA recommended a new Land Transfer Tax rebate to purchasers of Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED®) buildings.


"LEED® certified buildings are on the cutting edge of energy efficiency," declared Gary Zalepa Jr. "A new Land Transfer Tax rebate for businesses that purchase LEED® certified buildings will encourage more investment in commercial infrastructure that is good for our environment."