Today the federal government released its highly anticipated National Housing Strategy. I'm happy to see a renewed commitment to affordable housing for all from my federal colleagues and I'm looking forward to seeing the full details of the strategy. I'm particularly interested to see how this will affect the City of Ottawa. Please see below for my quick thoughts on what was announced:
Canada's first ever National Housing Strategy was announced today and is a 10-year $40B plan that will help more Canadians find a place to call home.
The strategy will result in 100,000 new housing units, 300,000 repaired or renewed housing units, 530,000 households removed from housing need, 385,000 households protected from losing an affordable home, 50,000 benefiting from an expansion of community housing, and a 50% reduction in estimated number of chronically homeless shelter users.
Here's a quick list of some of the new key tools that will be created as part of the strategy:
- National Housing Co-Investment Fund - To ensure existing rental housing is not lost to disrepair and to develop new, high-performing affordable housing integrated with supports and services with an investment of $15.9B. This is expected to create up to 60,000 new units of housing and repair up to 240,000 units of existing affordable community housing.
- Canada Housing Benefit - $4B for a new [portable housing benefit] tool that will provide an average of $2,500 per year to each recipient household.
- Canada Community Housing Initiative - $4.3B will help maintain affordability for approximately 330,000 households in community housing nationally.
- Federal Community Housing initiative - $500M will put in place new operating agreements as old social housing operating agreements expire.
- Making Federal Lands Available for Affordable Housing - Over the next 10 years up to $200M in federal lands will be transferred to housing providers.
- A new public engagement campaign will seek to reduce stigma and discrimination and highlight the benefits of inclusive communities and inclusive housing
- A new Community- Based Tenant Initiative will provide funding to local organizations which assist people in housing need, so that they are better represented and able to participate in housing policy and housing project decision-making
- A new Federal Housing Advocate will examine and recommend to CMHC and the responsible Minister, solutions to systemic barriers that Canadians face
- A new National Housing Council with diverse participation including those with lived experience of housing need will provide Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the responsible Minister with ongoing input on policy, programming and research related to the National Housing Strategy.
- Focus on Northern Housing - $300M will be directed over 10 years to help offset the higher need and cost of housing in the North.
- Reducing chronic homelessness by 50% over the next 10 years.
- First Nations are leading the development of a First Nations National Housing and Infrastructure Strategy.
- At least 25% of National Housing strategy investments will support projects that specifically target the unique needs of women and girls.
- National Housing Strategy Research Agenda - $241M over 10 years will be committed to enhance housing research, data, and demonstrations.