The federal government is offering a new tax credit to help make it easier for Canadians to care for adult relatives in their own homes.

The multi-generational home renovation tax credit took effect Jan. 1 for expenses related to building a secondary suite for a family member who is a senior or an adult with a disability.

The credit will provide a 15 per cent tax refund on expenses of up to $50,000 to a maximum of $7,500.

The secondary suite must be for a related adult over the age of 65 or living with a disability, including a grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew. 

The secondary suite must be a self-contained housing unit that includes a separate entrance, bathroom, kitchen and sleeping area. 

Additionally, the home being renovated must be inhabited or reasonably expected to be inhabited within 12 months after the end of the renovations. 

Some expenses, such as the purchase of home appliances and costs for housekeeping or other services, do not qualify for the credit. 

The parliamentary budget officer estimates that the tax credit will cost the federal government $44 million over the next five years. 

The credit was among a number of new housing affordability measures promised by the Liberals in the last election and included in the 2022 budget last April.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2023.