Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH)
The Government of Canada, through CMHC, works with its provincial and territorial partners to reduce the number of Canadians in need by improving access to affordable housing. Since 2011, new federal funding for affordable housing has been provided through the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH).
Through initiatives like new construction, renovation, homeownership assistance, rent supplements, shelter allowances, accessibility modifications, and accommodations for victims of family violence, funding under the IAH is used by provinces and territories to:
- increase the supply of affordable housing across Canada;
- improve and preserve the quality of affordable housing;
- improve housing affordability for vulnerable Canadians; and
- foster safe, independent living
The federal government has committed to an investment of more than $1.9 billion through the IAH over 8 years. Provinces and territories are cost-matching the federal investment.
In recognition of the distinctive needs of Nunavut, an additional $100 million over two years (2013-2015) has been invested by the Government of Canada to support new affordable housing in Nunavut.
The National IAH Funding Table provides information on the federal investment for each province and territory.
The National IAH Funding Table also summarizes the amount of federal funding claimed in each jurisdiction and the number of households/units that have benefited from the IAH to date.
Canadians being assisted through programs under the IAH include seniors and persons with disabilities. From April 2011 to March 2014 close to 14,500 households were able to continue to live independently as a result of the IAH. During that same period funding under the IAH also provided support for 1,422 households that were victims of family violence.
Federal funding delivered under the IAH totalled more than $716 million from April 2011 to the end of March 2014. Provincial and territorial contributions under the IAH, which include contributions from the private and non-profit sectors, have resulted in a further $782 million towards addressing housing need over the same period.
Provinces and territories also report annually to their citizens on progress toward the achievement of intended outcomes of the IAH from the combined federal and provincial/territorial investments. For more information, CMHC has links to the annual public reporting by provinces and territories.
How it Works
The IAH combines the Government of Canada's funding for off-reserve affordable housing that was previously delivered separately though the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI) and off-reserve renovation programs.
Through the IAH the Government of Canada recognizes that provinces and territories are best positioned to decide how to target funding in order to make a lasting difference. Under bilateral agreements with CMHC, provinces and territories cost-match the federal investment and are responsible for choosing the programs they design and deliver to address local housing needs and priorities. As housing needs can vary across the country, under the IAH provinces and territories have the flexibility to invest in a range of programs and initiatives in order to reduce the number of Canadians in housing need.
Below is a snapshot of how provinces and territories have used the flexibility under the IAH to improve access to affordable housing during the 2011-2014 period:
IAH Total Funding by
Spending Category (2011-2014)
■ 49.5% — Increase the supply of affordable housing across Canada
■ 19.0% — Improve and preserve the quality of affordable housing
■ 23.0% — Improve housing affordability for vulnerable Canadians
■ 8.5% — Foster safe, independent living
IAH Households Assisted By
Spending Category (2011-2014)
■ 5,689 — Increase the supply of affordable housing across Canada
■ 28,995 — Improve and preserve the quality of affordable housing
■ 159,358 — Improve housing affordability for vulnerable Canadians
■ 11,645 — Foster safe, independent living
Before the IAH
Affordable Housing Initiative (2001 – 2011)
The approach to how the federal government invests in affordable housing today is built on the success of the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI). Introduced in 2001, more than $1.2 billion in federal funding has been cost-matched and delivered by provinces and territories in order to create new affordable housing. Close to 52,400 units were funded under the AHI.
The National AHI Funding Table shows each province's and territory's share of federal AHI funding and the number of housing units produced in each jurisdiction.
Renovation Programs (1973 – 2011)
The IAH also builds on a forty year history of funding aimed at preserving and improving the quality of the existing affordable housing for low-income Canadians through renovation programs.
Prior to the introduction of the IAH in 2011, agreements were in place with most provinces and territories to cost-share and deliver the federal investment in renovation programs. In other jurisdictions CMHC delivered renovation programs.
More than 860,000 units were committed since the inception of the renovation programs (both on and off reserve) prior to the IAH. CMHC continues to deliver renovation programs on reserve.
Canada’s Economic Action Plan (2009-2011)
The initial phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan (CEAP) provided a one-time federal investment of more than $2 billion over two years (2009/10 and 2010/11) for the creation of new affordable housing and renovation and retrofit of existing social housing.
More than $1.5 billion of this funding was delivered by provinces and territories through amendments to existing AHI Agreements.
These investments created jobs across the country while improving living conditions for tens of thousands of Canadian seniors, persons with disabilities, low-income families and residents of northern communities.