‘We are another step closer to turning our vision into a reality,’ says federal housing minister
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has increased the need for affordable housing and led to rising levels of homelessness.
Additional housing funding
Last week during a webcast press conference, federal Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen, announced an additional $118.2 million over seven years, for Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative for former federally administered housing providers whose agreements expired prior to April 1, 2016.
The funds are estimated to be able to support and stabilize the operations of some 18,000 community housing units by ensuring affordability for low-income residents. The federal government created the National Housing Strategy to build hundreds of thousands of units and provide affordable housing to people from coast to coast to coast.
To protect affordability
As part of the National Housing Strategy, Ottawa says it has invested $500 million over 10 years in the Federal Community Housing Initiative (FCHI) to protect affordability for residents. The government says the funds will stabilize the operations of some 55,000 community housing units with operating agreements under federal administration.
“Five years ago, our government announced Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy, our $72-plus billion plan to ensure all Canadians have a place to call home,” said Hussen. “Our measures have come a long way since then. And with the Federal Community Housing Initiative, we are another step closer to turning our vision into a reality. This Phase 2 extension ensures that families don’t have to worry about keeping a roof over their heads, and provides safe, affordable housing that meets their needs.”
Supporting most vulnerable
“Community housing is an important part of how we can build a better future for all Canadians,” said Soraya Martinez Ferrada, the Liberal MP for Hochelaga and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion (Housing) and a former Montreal city councillor.
“This $118.2 million investment into the Federal Community Housing Initiative will support the most vulnerable, who have faced especially challenging times over the past two years through the pandemic,” she added. “This will go a long way to ensure that folks have a reliable roof over their head.”
“We welcome the federal government’s investment in community housing, which will ensure rent levels remain affordable for low-income households living in co-operative and non-profit housing previously administered by the federal government,” said Tim Ross, executive director, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada).
The Liberal government’s budget 2021 announced an additional $118.2 million over seven years, starting in 2021-22
“Today’s announcement provides both housing security and affordability for individuals and families, as well as certainty for co-operative and non-profit housing providers.”
Canada’s National Housing Strategy is a 10-year plan that will invest over $72 billion. Launched in 2017, the NHS will build and repair thousands of housing units, and help households with affordability support. Canada’s community housing stock is home to more than 518,000 families and individuals (2017), including some of the most vulnerable Canadians.
Built-up housing stock
According to the government, the stock was built under a variety of federal, provincial and territorial social housing programs that ran from the 1940s to the early 1990s. The government says community housing stock offers the most affordable housing in the country and is a critical part of our communities.
Phase 1 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative provided $38 million in federal funding over the two-year period between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2020. Under Phase 1, federally administered housing providers with long-term operating agreements that had ended between April 1, 2016 and February 28, 2020, continued to receive the same level of subsidy provided under existing agreements until March 31, 2020.
Bringing stability to housing
Phase 2 will provide $462 million in funding starting from Sept. 1, 2020 to March 31, 2028. The government says the investment is helping to stabilize the operations of some 55,000 units of federally administered community housing projects by providing rent support to community housing units occupied by low-income households, and transitional support for projects in need.
The Liberal government’s budget 2021 announced an additional $118.2 million over seven years, starting in 2021-22, through the Federal Community Housing Initiative, Phase 2. This additional funding applies to federal operating agreements expiring prior to April 1, 2016 to support community housing providers that deliver long-term housing to many of our most vulnerable and to support the affordability of housing to low-income households.