Housing is a cornerstone of sustainable and inclusive communities. National Housing Day is held each year on November 22 to recognize the importance of housing in our communities. It also recognizes the important work housing partners are doing across the country to improve access to housing for everyone in Canada.
We know that housing helps people participate more fully in society, do better in school and stay healthier. Housing affordability and a stable housing finance system support a stronger, safer Canada where everyone can live with dignity.
In 2020, the COVID‑19 pandemic has affected everyone’s way of life and underscored the importance of housing. For many of us, home has been a safe refuge during this challenging time. It has also highlighted the fact that 1.6 million Canadians still don’t have access to safe and affordable housing.
Safe, affordable — and equitable housing for everyone in Canada
Our vulnerable populations have been affected the most by the pandemic. This includes people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and people living in group housing, such as seniors, women and children fleeing domestic violence, and people with disabilities. Problems such as overcrowding and lack of adequate sanitation facilities can make it challenging to follow public health recommendations like physical distancing and increased handwashing.
The pandemic has also exposed inequities in housing. Systemic discrimination means that some communities such as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ2S continue to face unique housing challenges. It can be harder for them to access and maintain safe, affordable and stable housing.
Everyone in Canada deserves a safe and affordable housing. That is why by 2030, we want everyone in Canada to have a home that they can afford and meets their needs. It’s impossible to reach this ambitious goal without addressing the housing needs of those who are most vulnerable. We have to respond to urgent needs today — and take a long view to fix systemic issues for a better tomorrow.
We also can’t meet this goal on our own. That is why we’re mobilizing the expertise and energy of partners like you — governments, non-profits, lenders, developers, social entrepreneurs and co-ops. Together, we’re removing barriers to ensure that no one is left behind.
Download the toolkit and share why housing matters — during COVID‑19. And, help raise awareness of the importance of safe, affordable and inclusive housing for everyone in Canada.
See how CMHC is helping Canadians during COVID‑19
As our communities emerge from the pandemic, affordable housing will be more important than ever. National Housing Strategy initiatives are helping to boost housing supply, giving more Canadians a place to call home.
- The Rapid Housing Initiative will create new affordable housing that meets the needs of vulnerable people.
- The Housing Supply Challenge invites applicants to be part of the solution, and propose new ideas and approaches that break down the barriers that limit new housing supply.
- The National Housing Co-Investment Fund provides low-cost and forgivable loans for the construction and renewal of affordable housing.
- The Rental Construction Financing Incentive offers low-cost loans to encourage the construction of sustainable rental housing.
- We’ll be working directly with people who are vulnerable and other housing partners through the National Housing Council.
When the pandemic began, CMHC mobilized quickly to help Canadians keep their homes. We insisted that federally funded housing providers refrain from evictions. We also helped homeowners to defer mortgage payments and provided liquidity to the financial system so people can continue to access mortgage funding.
Visit our COVID‑19 updates page to learn more about how we are supporting Canadians during the pandemic.
Housing that makes a difference
People working together to build better lives, create stronger communities and lend a helping hand to Canadians in need.
- Chorus Apartments — Independent living for people with developmental disabilities.
- Co:Here Housing Community — Residents grouped together and took an agile approach to protect themselves and their community during COVID‑19.
- Sprott House — Canada’s first transitional housing program for LGBTQ2S youth meets their housing needs while providing support and life skills training.
- Écobâtiment — This Solutions Lab explores affordable and resilient housing for new immigrants, helping them integrate into the community.
- Rent Assist — This research shows how rent supplements can be an important part of a broader housing strategy. It also offers valuable insights for other housing programs in Canada.
Data and Research
Our Data and Research provides important insights into the housing needs of vulnerable populations. It plays a key role in getting to know the housing needs of vulnerable groups and developing the right initiatives and policies to support them.
- 20% of Visible Minority Households in Core Housing Need
- Housing Conditions of Visible Minority Households
- Understanding Core Housing Need
- 2020 Seniors Housing Survey
Check out the latest trends, research, data and insights on housing in Canada.