Our Government strongly believes that all Canadians should have access to safe and affordable housing. That is why we are introducing new innovative tools under Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy.
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced a series of proposed measures to strengthen the National Housing Strategy and new tools to support community housing providers.
The proposed National Housing Strategy Act will further the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, as recognized under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICECSR) by;
- Requiring the adoption and maintenance of a National Housing Strategy (NHS), that prioritizes the housing needs of the most vulnerable and requires regular reporting to Parliament on progress toward the Strategy’s goals and outcomes.
- Establishing a National Housing Council with diverse representation, including persons with lived experience of housing need and homelessness. The Council, supported by CMHC, will provide advice to the Minister on questions related to the NHS with the aim of improving housing outcomes.
- Creating a Federal Housing Advocate, supported by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, to identify systemic housing issues facing individuals and households belonging to vulnerable groups, and provide an annual report to the Minister with recommended measures, which will be tabled in Parliament.
The proposed legislation draws on feedback received from consultations with Canadians, led by CMHC in 2018, and adopts a human rights-based approach to housing to the National Housing Strategy.
CMHC is also announcing a new resource centre, managed by the Community Housing Transformation Centre (CHTC), to build a strong and resilient community housing sector while continuing to support Canadian families. CHTC will receive $68.6 million for administering the resource centre and two important initiatives under the NHS:
- A Sector Transformation Fund to provide non-repayable contributions that support building a strong and resilient community housing sector.
- A Community-Based Tenant Initiative to provide contributions to local organizations whose purpose is to assist people in housing need, support tenants in accessing information on housing options, and encourage better participation in housing decisions that affect them.
“Through the National Housing Strategy, more middle-class Canadians — and those working hard to join it — will find safe, accessible and affordable homes. Our proposed human rights-based approach to housing, as well as the resource centre, will help strengthen the National Housing Strategy, ensuring that it delivers concrete results for Canadians. An ambitious housing strategy will benefit all middle-class Canadians, especially those who work hard to join it.”
“When CMHC held public consultations to develop the Strategy, we heard that Canadians believe everyone deserves to have the dignity of a home. The most promising way to sustain this approach for future generations is to protect it through legislation. Enshrining the need for a National Housing Strategy in law inherently acknowledges the value of a coordinated approach, a shared vision and real accountability. It is a way to bring housing and “rights” closer together. This idea really is central to our thinking at CMHC: housing matters.”
“Prioritizing the sustainability and resilience of Canada’s community housing sector is a smart investment that helps hundreds of thousands of individuals and families thrive. We look forward to partnering with CMHC on the delivery of these important National Housing Strategy initiatives.”
- Introduced as part of the Budget 2019 Implementation Act, the National Housing Strategy Act recognizes the inherent dignity and well-being of the person.
- The new resource centre aims to maintain and support a resilient community housing sector by providing technical assistance, tools and resources to increase the capacity of housing providers and support a more efficient community housing sector.
- The Canadian Community Housing Resource Network’s founding members include the British Columbia Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA), Confédération québécoise des coopératives d’habitation (CQCH), Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHF Canada), Co-operative Housing Federation of British Columbia (CHF BC), Housing Services Corporation (HSC), Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA), Réseau Québécois des organismes sans but lucratif d’habitation (RQOH) and The Agency for Co-operative Housing (The Agency).
- The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its National Housing Strategy (NHS) — an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion+ plan that will create 100,000 new housing units and remove 530,000 families from housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 community housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent.
- The NHS is built on strong partnerships between federal, provincial and territorial governments, and on continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private sectors, to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians.
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 all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. CMHC’s aims is that by 2030, everyone in Canada has a home they can afford, and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Media Relations, CMHC
Tim Ross, Executive Director
Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada