Saskatoon

Sask. government, opposition spar over housing program

A provincial housing program did little for low-income families and caused a glut of overpriced homes on the market, according to Saskatchewan NDP MLA Cathy Sproule.

Critic says Headstart on a Home program caused glut in housing stock

The Saskatchewan government is defending one of its housing programs after an Opposition MLA said the program made things worse, not better. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

A provincial housing program did little for low-income families and caused a glut of overpriced homes on the market, according to Saskatchewan NDP MLA Cathy Sproule.

In the legislature Thursday, Sproule said the government's Headstart on a Home program gave builders millions in subsidies, but didn't lead to nearly enough affordable housing units.

She said the market was flooded with averaged-priced homes out of reach for those on low incomes. She said it also flooded the market with housing stock, contributing the the current slowdown in construction.

"They've made our housing market much, much worse due to oversupply," Sproule said 

Crown Investments Corporation Minister Minister Joe Hargrave said he's proud of the program. He said it created hundreds of construction jobs. He says it helped to alleviate the acute housing shortage across the province.

"We're very proud of what we've done," he said. "It's been good for the people of Saskatchewan."

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