From young students moving out for the first time, to families moving into a new community, to seniors downsizing, Canadian renters of all ages are impacted by the rising costs of housing. In Canada everyone should be able to find a place to live that meets their needs and which they can afford. The Government of Canada is focused on taking real, urgent action to build more homes for Canadians.
This week in British Columbia, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities met with municipal leaders to discuss the barriers that exist to building more housing for Canadians. Municipalities, along with provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments have a significant role to play in speeding up approvals process and removing the red tape that hinders new construction. Solving these challenges requires an all-hands-on-deck approach.
Today in Vancouver, Minister Fraser, the Honourable Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver-Centre, alongside Deputy Mayor Pete Fry on behalf of Vancouver City Council, announced the construction of more than 1100 purpose-built rental homes. These new homes were made possible through fully repayable low-interest loans of nearly $500 million through the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi).
Canada’s construction of rental homes has not kept pace with the country's growing cities and population, leading to a decline in the existing and aging rental stock for decades, and increased pressure on housing affordability. To help address this issue, the Government of Canada introduced the RCFi to stimulate the construction of rental housing. Purpose-built rental housing is an important component of the housing market, and increasing the overall supply in the country is crucial to ensuring affordability of housing for Canadians.
The announcement took place at 5728 Gray Avenue, a project that will be providing residential housing to faculty, staff, and other campus community members of the University of British Columbia. There will be 150 residential homes within this 6-storey building, offering a mix of studio, 1,2,3, and 4-bedroom units. The project will also have easy access to public transit, car and bike share systems within the neighbourhood. In addition, a minimum of 10% of the Project’s units will be prioritized for occupancy by the elderly, youths, students, individuals in need of assistance, or individuals whose eligibility is dependent on them being members of the University of British Columbia’s faculty or staff.
“We must increase the supply of housing. Doing so requires an all-hands-on-deck commitment from all levels of government. The federal government will continue to make strategic investments through programs like the RCFi and the Housing Accelerator Fund, while also working with our provincial and municipal partners so that all Canadians have a safe place that they are proud to call home.”
“The City of Vancouver is committed to ensuring Vancouverites have a place to call home. That is why it is encouraging to see the CMHC providing much-needed support to increase rental spaces through investment initiatives like the RCFi to help build the spaces residents need, from rentals and co-ops to supportive housing. As we look to secure housing that is more affordable across our city, these 1100 purpose-built rental units will help us get the job done.”
- The HAF is part of a larger toolbox of federal measures to support the creation of housing supply through Canada's National Housing Strategy (NHS), an ambitious 10-year plan that will invest more than $82 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home. Progress on programs and initiatives under the NHS is updated quarterly at www.placetocallhome.ca.
- The HAF is a $4 billion initiative that will provide funding to cities, towns, and Indigenous governments to develop innovative measures to unlock new housing supply and fast-track the creation of 100,000 new homes across Canada.
- The Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFi) provides fully repayable low-interest loans to encourage the construction of more purpose-built rental housing for middle income Canadians. It creates a positive impact to the housing system at minimal cost to taxpayers.
- RCFi is one of many programs and initiatives under the National Housing Strategy designed to help address housing needs across the housing continuum.
- RCFi complements other NHS initiatives that focus on funding affordable housing units for lower-income households.
- Through RCFi, the federal government is encouraging the construction of more than 71,000 rental units.
- A stable supply of purpose-built rental housing is essential for more people in Canada to have access to housing that meets their needs.
- Through Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, the Government of Canada has committed $3.9 billion to support infrastructure investments in British Columbia.
- Of that amount, the Government of Canada has allocated $2.21 billion to TransLink for projects in Metro Vancouver.
- Since 2018, the Government of Canada has approved 17 TransLink projects under Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program with a total federal contribution of $1.63 billion, including $888.3 million for the Millennium Line Broadway Extension and $493.3 million for the Expo and Millennium Upgrade Program.
- In 2021, the Government of Canada announced up to $1.3 billion in federal funding toward the Surrey Langley SkyTrain extension project, being built to accommodate projected population growth in Surrey and Langley.
- Major public transit infrastructure projects like the Surrey Langley SkyTrain strengthen communities, make more Canadians’ lives easier and more affordable, and are aligned with the Government of Canada’s commitment of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Visit Canada.ca/housing for the most requested Government of Canada housing information.
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 aim is that everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. For more information, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.
To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit: www.placetocallhome.ca.
Check out the National Housing Strategy Housing Funding Initiatives Map to see affordable housing projects that have been developed across Canada.
For information on this release:
Office of the Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation