Government Announces $462 million in funding for Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced $462 million in funding over eight years for Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative. Under Phase 2, housing providers will transition seamlessly to a new rental support program, which will start on April 1, 2020.

This funding follows the temporary extension of subsidies under Phase 1 to maintain affordability for Canadians living in federally administered community housing projects, as announced on April 4, 2018.

Moss Park (Photo: SimonP via Wikimedia Commons)

“In November 2017, our Government announced Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy, a 10-year, $55-billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home. Phase 1 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative was a critical part of this plan, and with today’s Phase 2 announcement we are another step closer to realizing the vision of the strategy. Protecting households from losing an affordable place to live is a concrete action towards making sure Canadians have housing that meets their needs and that they can afford,” said Duclos in a release.

Frank Wheeler, President, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHFC) commented, “We welcome the federal government’s investment in protecting housing affordability for individuals and families in co-operative and community housing. Today’s announcement will provide these vulnerable households the comfort of knowing that their housing is secure for many years to come.”

Quick Facts:

  • Under Phase I of the Federal Community Housing Initiative, federally administered community housing providers with long-term operating agreements that have ended or that are coming to an end between April 1, 2016 and February 28, 2020, continue to receive the same level of subsidy currently provided under existing agreements until March 31, 2020.
  • Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative establishes a new rental assistance program for federally administered community housing providers to support affordability for low-income residents and provide additional transitional funding for eligible projects.
  • Stakeholders, including the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada (CHFC), the Canadian Housing Renewal Association (CHRA), Confédération québécoise des coopératives d’habitation (CQCH), Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation (RQOHl), and representatives of federally administered cooperative (co-op) and non-profit community housing organizations from across the country were consulted by CMHC in 2018 and early 2019, to provide feedback and input on the development of Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative.
  • CMHC will continue working with the co-operative and non-profit housing sector over the course of the National Housing Strategy to ensure the best outcomes for low-income residents and housing providers.
  • Six months prior to the end of agreements, CMHC will reach out to providers to work with them on the new program and help them to prepare.
  • The Government of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) is an ambitious 10-year, $55 billion plan that will create 125,000 new housing units, repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units, protect an additional 385,000 community housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent, with the target of removing 530,000 families from housing need.
  • 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.


Federal Community Housing Initiative

Canada’s community housing stock is home to more than 518,000 families and individuals (2017), including some of the most vulnerable Canadians. This stock was built under a variety of federal, provincial and territorial social housing programs that ran from the 1940s to the early 1990s. Community housing stock offers the most affordable housing in the country and is a critical part of our communities.

The Federal Community Housing Initiative addresses the federally administered component of the overall community housing stock comprising 55,000 units.

Phase I of the Federal Community Housing Initiative was implemented as of April 1, 2018 and will continue until March 31, 2020.  Under Phase I, federally administered housing providers with long-term operating agreements that have ended or that are coming to an end between April 1, 2016 and February 28, 2020, continue to receive the same level of subsidy provided under existing agreements until March 31, 2020.

The objective of the subsidy extension (Phase 1) is to maintain low-income households, protect affordability of the federally administered community housing stock, stabilize operations of housing providers and ensure no net loss of the federally administered community housing stock.

Phase 2 starts on April 1, 2020 and will help stabilize the operations of some 55,000 units of federally administered community housing projects. This will be accomplished by providing rent support to community housing units occupied by low-income households, and transitional support for projects in need. Housing providers will be supported to transition seamlessly to the new rental support program with no break in funding. Community housing providers will be supported through a gradual process to meet standards over the life of the program agreement.

Phase 2 funding applies to operating agreements expiring between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2027. New agreements will be put in place as old ones expire, to ensure community housing providers will continue to receive funding to subsidize rents for residents in need.

Eligibility (rent supplement only) for operating agreements that expired prior to April 1, 2016 will be considered beginning in 2021. Criteria will be set in order to focus assistance to the pre-2016 projects most in need.

The Federal Government has consulted on the development of this new program with sector stakeholders and the non-profit and co-operative housing providers that own federally administered community housing.

The Community Housing Transformation Centre and Sector Transformation Fund will also support housing providers through the transition from Phase I to Phase 2.

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