Today the Federal Government announced their 2017 budget. My office had a chance to do a quick review of what the budget will mean for affordable housing in Ottawa.
Please see below for a couple of key announcements made today:
- Budget 2017 proposes to invest more than $11.2B over 11 years in a variety of initiatives designed to build, renew and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing and help ensure that Canadians have affordable housing that meets their needs. These investments will be made as part of a new National Housing Strategy, which will provide a roadmap for governments and housing providers across the country.
- A new National Housing Fund will be established to address critical housing issues and prioritize support for vulnerable citizens. The fund will be administered through CMHC and will receive an investment of $5B over the next 11 years.
- Budget 2017 proposes $3.2B for the provinces and territories to support key priorities for affordable housing.
- Budget 2017 proposes to invest $225 million over the next 11 years to provide financial support to housing providers serving Indigenous Peoples not living on-reserve.
- Budget 2017 proposes a total investment of $2.1B over the next 11 years to expand and extend funding for the Homeless partnering Strategy beyond 2018-19, when current funding is scheduled to end.
- Budget 2017 proposes to invest $202M over the next 11 years to make surplus federal lands and buildings available to housing providers at low or no cost for the development of affordable housing.
- Budget 2017 proposes to provide $241M over the next 11 years to CMHC to improve data collection and analytics, which will strengthen the ability to report the outcomes of the National Housing Strategy and make informed policy decisions.
The budget also included what the key elements of the National Housing Strategy will include:
- A renewed partnership between the Government and provinces and territories to better support key housing priorities.
- A new $5 billion National Housing Fund to address critical housing issues, and better support vulnerable citizens.
- Targeted support for northern housing.
- Targeted housing support for Indigenous Peoples not living on-reserve.
- Renewed and expanded federal investments to combat and prevent homelessness.
- Making more federal lands available for the development of affordable housing.
- Expanded funding to strengthen CMHC’s housing research activities.
The Federal government notes that “all Canadians need and deserve housing that is safe, adequate, and affordable. Without it, Canadians feel less secure, making it harder to accomplish every other goal. When affordable housing is in short supply, Canada’s whole economy suffers.” I believe this is important to keep in mind as we move forward with improving housing for Ottawa’s residents.
While I’m happy to see that the Federal Government is taking the issue of affordable housing seriously, I am always looking to push for increased commitment in this important area of need. I look forward to seeing what the Federal Government’s next steps are and what the Government’s National Housing Strategy will look like as it rolls out.