Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in Toronto, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, in Vancouver, just announced a 10-year, $40 billion National Housing Strategy.
The goal is to reduce homelessness and improve the availability and quality of housing for Canadians in need.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” says Trudeau. “Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy is a once-in-a-generation vision to reduce homelessness, support community housing and shelter spaces, and address challenges of housing affordability. We took a major step forward on housing today, and we will continue to deliver initiatives that strengthen the middle class and lift more Canadians out of poverty.”
The National Housing Strategy aims to reduce homelessness by 50%, remove 530,000 households from housing need, create four times the amount of new units built under federal programs between 2005 and 2015, and protect an additional 385,000 households from losing an affordable place to live.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the funds (via CMHC):
- $15.9-billion for a new National Housing Co-Investment Fund
- $8.6-billion for a new Canada Community Housing Initiative in partnership with provinces and territories, and $500 million through a new Federal Community Housing Initiative
- $4-billion for a new Canada Housing Benefit to be launched in 2020 in partnership with provinces and territories
- $2.2-billion to reduce homelessness
- $300-million in additional federal funding to address housing needs in Canada’s North.
- $241-million for research, data and demonstrations.
One of the new programs is the Canada Housing Benefit, which will be launched in 2020. The $4 billion program will provide support for those struggling with affordability issues, including those in housing need and in social housing. It’s estimated that an average of $2,500 a year will be available for each household recipient, eventually supporting at least 300,000 households.
“Our Government is establishing a federal leadership role in housing,” says Duclos. “The National Housing Strategy will create a new generation of housing in Canada. It will promote diverse communities and will build housing that is sustainable, accessible, mixed-income and mixed-use that will be located near transit, work and public services.”
The Government of Canada will work with Indigenous leaders to develop distinctions-based housing strategies with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation. Also, 25% of the funds will go towards girls, women, and their families.
Environmental protection is also a key factor, so new housing strategies across the country will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Government also ensures that accessible building design will remain a high priority.