CHF weighs in on the federal government’s newly unveiled national housing strategy


Yesterday, on National Housing Day, the federal government is unveiled its new National Housing Strategy with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Toronto, and Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos making his announcement in Vancouver, BC.

Dubbed “Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy”, this “$40 billion vision” aims directly at the heart of homelessness in our country with a core goal to reduce chronic homelessness in Canada by 50%. The strategy will be underpinned by a “rights-based approach to housing,” and a $241M National Housing Strategy Research Agenda that embraces open data.

Yesterday’s announcement is arguably the most positive development in federal housing policy since the early 1970s. Key elements of the strategy include:

  • The strategy is primarily focused on rental housing, and is very focused on a 10-year timeline.
  • A $40 Billion figure is being used, which includes the $11.2 Billion announced in the 2017 federal budget, alongside existing federal, provincial and territorial funding that has already been budgeted for.
  • There is an aim for the creation of 100,000 new units along with the repair of 300,000 units with an overall goal of removing 530,000 households in Canada from core housing need.
  • Over the next 10 years, up to $200M in federal lands will be transferred to housing providers.
  • The “Canada Housing Benefit,” to be designed by 2020 in partnership with provinces and territories, will result in 300,000 households being assisted with an average of $2,500 annually for each recipient household.

Over the next few days, CHF will continue to unpack the national housing strategy and provide further analysis on how it addresses some of the core issues that we consistently find in our goal of ending homelessness in our city. For example, the strategy itself does not define what it means when making reference to a “rights based approach to housing,” and doesn’t outline how expertise in municipalities will be effectively leveraged.

Overall, we feel that this strategy is a major milestone in the goal to end homelessness in our country, and is a massive step forward for the 1.7 million families in Canada who live in core housing need. We look forward to working with all orders of government on legislative and regulatory design implementation.