On Nov. 24, 2017 the federal government released Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy (NHS). The strategy is a 10-year, $40-billion plan focused on giving more Canadians a place to call home.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) was pleased to participate in the consultations and provided input through a submission in 2016. The submission emphasized the importance of maintaining a complete view of the housing spectrum, which includes keeping homeownership as an affordable and accessible housing option for all Canadians.
The goal of the NHS is to ensure Canadians have access to housing that meets their needs and is affordable. Over the next 10 years, the government will focus on the following aspects:
- Housing Rights Are Human Rights—The federal government intends to take steps to ensure the right of every Canadian to access adequate housing through the creation of new programs, such as the Federal Housing Advocate and a National Housing Counsel.
- National Housing Co-Investment Fund—$15.9 billion commitment to create 60,000 new units of housing and repair up to 240,000 existing social housing units.
- Canada Community Housing Initiative—$4.3 billion to support provinces and territories to protect and build a sustainable community-based housing sector.
- National Housing Benefit—$4 billion to support struggling and low-income households who can’t make ends meet, in both social and private market housing.
- Federal-Provincial/Territorial Housing Partnership—An additional $16.1 billion in federal investment to provincial and territorial housing programs (cost-matching programs).
- Improving Homeownership Options for Canadians—Through government-backed mortgage loan insurance and better detection and prevention of mortgage fraud.
- Evidence-Based Housing: Research, Data and Modelling—$241 million for housing research and data, to ensure better housing information is available to all levels of governments to make educated, research-evidence based data-driven housing policy decisions.
CREA applauds the government for recognizing that there are housing challenges and needs across the entire housing spectrum. However, CREA is disappointed that housing affordability for all Canadians was not adequately addressed and will continue to push the government to recognize that affordability challenges exist for more than just lower income Canadians.