New Funding for Affordable Housing
National housing strategy gains regional support.
On April 9, 2018, Canada’s provinces and territories (except Quebec) agreed to match about $7.7 billion in planned federal spending through to 2028. The funding will support programs in the Liberal government’s housing strategy.
The strategy is a framework for investing billions of dollars in repairing and building social housing units. These are its main areas of focus:
- Repairing and constructing affordable housing units, adding about 50,000 units and repairing about 60,000.
- Ensuring there is no net loss in housing units, particularly for urban Indigenous people.
- Adding a $4 billion housing benefit to be rolled out in 2020. The benefit is designed to be “portable,” which means it’s tied to the resident rather than the rental unit.
- Encouraging construction of mixed-income and mixed-use residential developments, which have urban benefits beyond affordability.
Reaction from affordable housing advocates has been generally positive. Provincial and territorial support for the federal housing strategy will help move the plan forward – which could be good news for low-income Canadians and those in uncertain housing situations.
To make this strategy a stable, long-term framework for housing in Canada, the federal government plans to introduce legislation that will make it difficult for future federal governments to back out of the strategy.
“We know that this is extremely important for provinces and territories that want to plan over the long term.”
- Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos quoted in the National Post on April 9, 2018
The federal government would also like to legislate a right to housing, but it doesn’t yet have support from provinces and territories on this issue.
In Calgary, many factors affect housing affordability (which isn’t the same thing as affordable housing). Watch this video to understand the difference, and the factors that influence both.