OTTAWA, November 22, 2016 — Over the last several months, housing experts, stakeholders, and Canadians from all walks of life participated in “Let’s Talk Housing” consultations and shared their views to help shape a National Housing Strategy (NHS) that will strive to improve the lives of those in greatest need.

On the occasion of National Housing Day, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), today released a “What We Heard” from Canadians report.

This summary report takes stock of the consultations, identifies emerging themes and highlights exciting ideas to help define the future of housing in Canada.

The national consultations explored new and innovative ways of responding to persistent housing challenges, including ways to improve housing outcomes for Canadians as a cornerstone for achieving broader socio-economic objectives.

“Ensuring that Canadians have access to affordable housing, with all of the socio-economic benefits that come with it, is a key priority for the Government of Canada. The input and ideas we received from Canadians will be invaluable in helping to shape a National Housing Strategy that delivers better housing, socio-economic and environmental outcomes for all Canadians.”
— The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Quick Facts

  • Focus groups were held across the country to ensure that we heard from people with lived experience, including people who have experienced homelessness or are living in subsidized housing, in addition to newcomers to Canada and persons with disabilities, among others.
  • The Government of Canada, through CMHC, sought the input of provinces and territories who held their own consultations, and provided their ideas on the future of housing in Canada. CMHC hosted a series of expert roundtables on themes ranging from housing finance and data to social inclusion and sustainability.
  • CMHC also sought the advice and input of key national housing stakeholders, and held roundtables on rural, remote and urban Indigenous housing, as well as northern housing.
Online NHS Engagement Activities Levelof Engagement
Let’sTalk Housing NHS Survey 6,351 completed surveys
Idea Sharing Platform 132 ideas submitted
OnlineWritten Submission Uploads 478 written submissions
Social Media Comments — #LetsTalkHousing 1905 ideas on social media


Targeted NHS Engagement Activities Level of Engagement
Let’s Talk Housing Expert and Stakeholder Roundtables 22 roundtables
Focus Groups with Vulnerable Peoples 21 focus groups
Public Opinion Research 8 focus groups
MP Townhalls 10 Townhall meetings
Bilateral meetings and forums with Indigenous organizations 15 Bilateral meetings and forums

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has been helping Canadians meet their housing needs for more than 70 years. As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

For more information, please call 1-800-668-2642, or follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Download the What We Heard Report.

For Media Enquiries, Please Contact:

Mathieu Filion
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Jonathan Rotondo
Media Relations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Minister Duclos, along with Evan Siddall, at the launch of the "What We Heard" Report


A National Housing Strategy for Canada will set a long-term vision for housing in Canada; establish core policy areas and desired housing outcomes; address gaps in the housing system, especially for those in greatest need; recognize the importance of housing to achieve other social, economic and environmental goals; and include a focus on improving housing outcomes of Indigenous peoples and for those who live in Canada’s three territories.

What we Heard About the Vision

Based on the feedback, Canadians believe that the NHS vision should be focused on:

Canadians have housing that meets their needs and they can afford. Affordable housing is a cornerstone of sustainable, inclusive communities and a Canadian economy where we can prosper and thrive.

What we heard from Canadians was grouped into broad themes.

  • Distinct needs of low-income and vulnerable Canadians
  • A strong social housing sector
  • Housing for Indigenous people, wherever they may reside, including the North
  • Affordability and innovative financing
  • Sustainable housing and communities

The most important housing outcomes for the NHS survey respondents are:

  • Affordability: housing must be affordable and meet their needs was the most important housing outcome to them.
  • Sustainability: housing needs to financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.
  • Inclusivity: housing that helps distinct groups such as homeless, seniors, newcomers, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities.
  • Housing supports a better quality of life: housing that supports improving the quality of life.

Date Published: November 22, 2016