Canadian Housing and Renewal Association response to the National Housing Strategy

Federal Government Unveils the Next Generation of Social and Affordable Housing Policy in Canada; CHRA Applauds Measures, Although Much More Work Required

OTTAWA – The federal government today unveiled Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy, a historic plan which contains a series of policies and programs that puts the needs of Canada’s most vulnerable populations at its core. The Strategy aims to invest over $40 billion with the objective of creating 100,000 new affordable housing units, repairing and renewing 300,000 units, and removing 530,000 households from core housing need. As the national association representing the social, affordable, and non-profit housing sector in Canada, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) applauds the release of today’s Strategy.

 Among the key announcements in today’s Strategy:

• A $15.9 billion National Housing Co-Investment Fund that will repair and renew existing social housing and build new affordable housing.

• A $4.3 billion Canada Community Housing Initiative that will protect the affordability of current housing units.

• Confirmation that measures contained in Budget 2017 for new housing research and data, new federal lands being made available for affordable housing providers, and enhanced support to Provinces and Territories through partnerships will be implemented.

• $2.2 billion to address chronic homelessness through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy

• Development of a legislated right to housing that requires the federal government to maintain a Strategy, develop and report on national indicators, and creates a new Housing Advocate – proposals put forth by CHRA.

Although these are welcome developments, a great deal of work remains. For instance, a process will need to be undertaken to develop and approve the new legislated right to housing approach. Consultations and coordination with the provinces and territories on the capital announcements and the proposed Housing Benefit will need to be negotiated.

Most importantly, the promised Indigenous Strategy will require greater consultation with Indigenous representatives; consultation which needs to include the CHRA Indigenous Caucus that represents the interests of urban and rural Indigenous housing providers.

“Overall, today’s historical announcement is a strong step in the right direction for the social and affordable housing sector in Canada, which will serve to increase the long-term capacity of social housing in Canada,” said Stephan Corriveau, Board President of CHRA. “However, many of the details still need to be worked out, especially the much needed investment in Indigenous housing, particularly in urban and rural settings. As the association representing social housing across Canada, CHRA and its Indigenous Caucus look forward to working with a reinvigorated CMHC, provinces, territories, and municipalities to flesh out the remaining details.”

“For years, CHRA has called for a National Housing Strategy that focuses on protecting and adding new social housing capacity – today’s Strategy will help achieve that goal,” added Jeff Morrison, CHRA Executive Director. “However, today’s Strategy cannot be the end of the process, but rather the beginning. Starting with additional investments in Budget 2018, particularly for Indigenous housing, we need to work hard to design, improve and implement the measures announced today so that we can protect and expand safe and affordable housing for all people living in Canada.”

A summary of the measures contained in the National Housing Strategy will be available on the CHRA website shortly.

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CASW is a proud member of CHRA, whose other members include housing providers, municipalities, businesses, all 13 provincial and territorial housing departments, service and support agencies, individuals, students and other housing-related associations and networks.

For more information, please contact: Jeff Morrison, Executive Director, Canadian Housing and Renewal Association P: 613-594-3007, x11 E: [email protected]

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