Canada and BC Extend Affordable Housing Funding

VICTORIA, B.C., March 4, 2014 — The Governments of Canada and British Columbia are committing an additional investment of more than $300 million over five years, to help more individuals and families in need access affordable housing. The joint-funding will be delivered through an extension to the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) agreement.

“Our Government remains committed to smart investments in housing to create better economic outcomes for the Canadian families who benefit from these programs,” said the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State for Social Development. “By partnering with the provinces and territories we want to ensure that this investment improves the quality of life of low-income Canadians, and creates needed jobs and opportunities for apprentices.”

“The extension of this agreement will help us to create more housing options for British Columbians,” said Rich Coleman, Minister Responsible for Housing. “Over the next five years, this funding will help build new affordable housing, enhance our rental assistance programs and support partnerships that will contribute to stronger, more sustainable communities.”

The federal portion of this funding comes from Economic Action Plan 2013, which announced the Government of Canada’s commitment to investing more than $1.25 billion nationally over five years to extend the Investment in Affordable Housing and to creating opportunities for apprentices, which will support the training of skilled labour in residential housing.  Governments will report annually to the public regarding the investments and progress toward achieving the intended outcomes of the IAH.

The Province of B.C. and the federal government will each contribute $150 million under the IAH extension agreement (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2019). The Province of British Columbia will commit the joint annual funding as follows:

  • $30 million to support and enhance existing programs; and
  • $30 million towards new construction or renovations.

On July 25, 2011, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia announced an IAH agreement with a combined investment of some $180 million for the 2011-2014 period. This new agreement extends the original agreement for the 2014-2019 period with an additional combined investment of more than $300 million. From April 2011 to December 2013, the IAH had already helped more than 177,500 households nationally, and close to 2,220 in BC.

Since 2001, the government of B.C. has invested $3.6 billion to provide affordable housing for low-income individuals, seniors and families. This year, more than 98,000 B.C. households will benefit from provincial social housing programs and services. To find out more about affordable housing in British Columbia visit: www.bchousing.org.

Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested more than $16.5 billion in housing. For BC, this represents an investment of some $1.8 billion. By working with its partners, the federal government has helped some 880,000 Canadians individuals and families including low-income seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people. To find out more about how the Government of Canada, through CMHC, is working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit www.cmhc.ca/affordablehousing. For more information on Canada’s Economic Action Plan, call 1-800-O-Canada or visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

Media please contact:

Charles Sauriol
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-2799
csauriol@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Follow CMHC on Twitter @CMHC_ca

Fergus McCann
BC Housing
778-452-6445

Backgrounder

On March 4, 2014, the federal and provincial governments renewed their Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) agreement for the next five years (2014-2019). The $300 million agreement includes $150 million each in federal and provincial government contributions. The Province will commit the joint annual funding as follows:

  • $30 million to support and enhance existing programs; and
  • $30 million towards new construction or renovations.

The overall goal of the IAH is to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need by improving access to affordable housing that is sound, suitable and sustainable through:

  • Increasing the supply of affordable housing, through new construction or conversions, and homeownership or rentals;
  • Improving housing affordability, through rent supplements, shelter allowances, or homeownership assistance;
  • Improving and preserving the quality of affordable housing: renovation of existing affordable housing;
  • Fostering safe independent living, including new housing construction, housing modifications and renovations that extend independent living for seniors and persons with disabilities, and victims of family violence.

Programs funded under the IAH between 2011 and 2014 include:

Home Adaptations for Independent Living (HAFI), which provides financial assistance of up to $20,000 per home to finance accessibility modifications in their home.

The Aboriginal Housing Initiative (AHI), which is creating affordable housing for Aboriginal households in need in British Columbia.

Capital funding of more than $155 million to build more than 600 new units of affordable rental housing for families, seniors and individuals across the province.

For information on the Investment in Affordable Housing click here.


The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) and Rich Coleman, Minister Responsible for Housing sign the extension to the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) agreement in Victoria, British Columbia.

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