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National Housing Strategy resources

The National Housing Strategy is a 10-year, $40-billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.

The Strategy is a national initiative, built through extensive consultations over approximately 2 years with Canadians from all walks of life: experts, stakeholders, think tanks, and people with lived experiences to provide a diversity of housing perspectives.

Overview Webinar

Transcript

Welcome to our webinar to launch Canada's first ever National Housing Strategy.

The National Housing Strategy is a ten-year $40 billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home. The strategy is a national initiative, built through extensive consultations over a period of close to two years with Canadians from all walks of life, i.e. expert stakeholders, think tanks, and people with lived experience of housing need to provide a diversity of housing perspectives.

The National Housing Strategy re-establishes a federal leadership role in housing. It sets a long-term vision for housing, establishes clear goals and ambitious targets, bring significant new investments to housing and a focus on partnerships to achieve more.

(Visual: Introduction to the new National Housing Strategy. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side; a collage of people is on the right-hand side, and at the bottom of the screen, the Canada wordmark is on the right-hand side.

Under the National Housing Strategy brand, on the left-hand side, text saying Canada’s First Ever National Housing Strategy 10-year $40-billion plan. Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

So, what is the vision of the National Housing Strategy? The vision is that Canadians have housing that meets their needs and that they can afford. It recognizes that affordable housing is a cornerstone of sustainable communities and an inclusive society and a strong economy where we can all prosper and thrive.

To help realize this vision, the primary focus of the National Housing Strategy will be meeting the needs of vulnerable populations. This includes seniors, indigenous peoples, survivors of family violence, people with disabilities, veterans, young adults, people with mental health and addiction issues, and those experiencing homelessness.

The National Housing Strategy will create a new generation of housing in Canada. It will promote diverse communities and build housing that is sustainable, accessible mixed income and mixed-use housing that will be located close to transit work and public services.

This will help create vibrant and livable communities and ensure that people have access to the tools they need to achieve their aspirations.

(Visual: A Vision for Inclusive Housing. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side; a collage of people is on the right-hand side. Describes the vision and the key elements of the vision, as mentioned by the narrator.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

The strategy keeps people, communities and partnerships at the forefront. All of the strategies, policies and programs are designed to respect the principles outlined on this slide.

For people, it recognizes that every Canadian deserves a safe home that they can afford. And while it considers everyone's needs and all housing types and tenures, it places priority on those people who are facing the greatest challenges and needs.

The strategy is also very thoughtful about the local context and communities, and how these investments can work together with other investments to create stronger communities.

It's built on partnership between the federal government, provinces, territories, municipalities, the social and private sectors, and persons who have lived through housing need.

The strategy also clearly recognizes that long-term solutions and strategies to address the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis nation must be developed with First Nations, Inuit and Métis nation governments and organizations and must be anchored in the principles of respect, reconciliation and self-determination.

(Visual: Principles of the National Housing Strategy. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. Overarching the three pillars of the new National Housing Strategy, i.e. People, Communities and Partnerships, is the text Housing is more than just a roof over our heads.

Presented in table format, each pillar – People, Communities and Partnerships – shows its own principles, as described verbally by the narrator.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

The Government of Canada, through the National Housing Strategy, is investing heavily in housing and this builds on significant new investments of about $4 billion made in 2016.

All told, this is a more than $40 billion housing plan, when we consider the joint investments that provinces and territories will make alongside the federal government. So, some of the investments include: $4 billion for a new Canada Housing Benefit; $15.9 billion for a new National Housing Co-Investment Fund and $9.1 billion for Community Housing Initiatives.

Along with a significant investment, there is also a robust accountability framework being put in place for the National Housing Strategy. The success of the National Housing Strategy will be measured based on the achievement of outcomes over a 10-year period.

We will publish our goals and targets and report frequently and how we were doing in achieving them. Comprehensive evaluations of the National Housing Strategy programs with significant input from external sources will be conducted every three years to assess program performance. And a report will be tabled in Parliament.

In addition to providing accountability, these evaluations will determine whether the direction and initiatives of the National Housing Strategy should be adjusted in order to meet our stated outcomes.

This is a lot of money and an ambitious plan, but it won't solve every housing problem in the country. Our goal is to work in partnership with others and to stretch every dollar to make sure it has the absolute maximum impact for as many Canadians as possible.

(Visual: A $40 Billion+ Once-in-a-Generation Joint Investment. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. At the bottom, on the left-hand side, drawing of various types of buildings.

In the middle, on the right-hand side of and partly above the drawing of the buildings, six dollar amounts summarizing the investments to be made under the new National Housing Strategy.

Three of the investments involve cost-matching by provinces and territories.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

To put the scale of investments in context, this slide shows where housing investments were headed without a National Housing Strategy and where they're headed with a National Housing Strategy.

(Visual: Investments Under the National Housing Strategy vs. Baseline Housing Investments. A double line graph shows two trends for housing investments as of 2016-2017.

Funding under the National Housing Strategy is substantially more and increases, and funding under legacy social housing agreements and Investment in Affordable Housing is considerably less and is decreasing.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

So, what are the goals of the National Housing Strategy? Overall, the National Housing Strategy aims to lift 530,000 families and individuals out of housing need. The new Canada Housing Benefit that will help with rent affordability, is a key tool in achieving that goal.

The National Housing Strategy also aims to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% and this will be supported by an investment in municipalities so that communities can lead the fight against homelessness.

Importantly, the National Housing Strategy will focus on improving our affordable rental and community housing supply.

It will preserve affordability and improve housing conditions for 385,000 families and individuals living in community housing, where funding support was previously at risk.

It will also build new affordable rental and community housing, with the plan to support construction of 100,000 new units over the ten-year period and it will repair 300,000 affordable rental and community housing units.

The new National Housing Co-Investment Fund will be a key tool to support the construction and repair of affordable housing.

(Visual: Stronger Communities and Greater Opportunities. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. The six targets of the National Housing Strategy are shown, as described verbally by the narrator.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

I will now go through each of the key elements of the National Housing Strategy in a little bit more detail.

We'll start with the rights-based framework that is a foundation of the National Housing Strategy.

So as expressed in the National Housing Strategy vision statement, we believe that Canadians deserve safe and affordable housing. That is why the federal government will recognize and progressively implement the right of every Canadian to access adequate housing.

The National Housing Strategy policies and programs focus on the needs of the most vulnerable through a human rights-based approach to housing. It is grounded in the principles of accountability, participation and non-discrimination. This is consistent with Canada's commitments under the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights and with the vision of the National Housing Strategy.

A few of the key elements for a human rights-based approach: our new legislation that will be introduced and require the federal government to retain a National Housing Strategy and to report publicly on plans and results of the National Housing Strategy.

Second: a new Federal Housing Advocate will examine housing issues and challenges that Canadians of different backgrounds and walks of life are facing.

There are a few other measures outlined on the slide, such as a National Housing Council, a Community-Based Tenant Initiative and a public engagement campaign that will promote participation and inclusion of diverse perspectives in the ongoing development of a National Housing Strategy.

(Visual: Housing Rights Are Human Rights. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. The Strategy will create accountability and participation, and foster non-discrimination and inclusion. This will be achieved through various measures, as described verbally by the narrator.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

Tied to the rights-based approach for housing, we’re particularly proud of the robust gender-based analysis that was undertaken to support the National Housing Strategy.

For those not familiar with it, the Gender-Based Analysis Plus is a tool to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender diverse people may experience new policies, programs and initiatives. It takes into account race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental or physical disability as well.

We know that women in particular face unique barriers to housing due to lower incomes, caregiving responsibilities, dependence on a partner for income. Women who are members of Canada's vulnerable populations have unique experiences of housing need and homelessness.

The National Housing Strategy programs were developed with a lens to the needs of women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQ, youth, seniors, newcomers to Canada and others who are more likely to experience housing need.

These groups will be prioritized for projects supported through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund. The Gender-Based Analysis Plus of the National Housing Strategy was based on feedback from consultations, focus groups with women who have lived housing need, research and reviews of current programs.

And it was also informed by a Women's Housing Symposium funded by CMHC and other federal partners. The government will continue to seek feedback from women and other Canadians with unique housing needs as the National Housing Strategy is implemented.

(Visual: Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+). The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. Surrounding a collage of people in the middle, are the outcomes of the analysis as reflected in the National Housing Strategy.

Also, as highlighted above all of these, at least 25% of the National Housing Strategy Investments will support projects that specifically target the unique needs of women and girls.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

A new Canada Housing Benefit will be launched in 2020 to provide affordability support directly to families and individuals in housing need. This is money that will go directly to the household to help offset rent costs for families who are dedicating far too much of their income to pay rent with little left over for other basics like healthy food.

The Government of Canada will invest $2 billion to establish the Canada Housing Benefit. Provinces and territories will be asked to partner on this jointly funded initiative that will bring the total to $4 billion with expected PT cost matching.

Delivered by the provinces and territories with support from municipalities and other partners, it is estimated that the Canada Housing Benefit will provide an average of $2,500 per year for each recipient household.

By the final year of the strategy, the Canada Housing Benefit will help significantly reduce or eliminate housing affordability challenges for over 300,000 of the most vulnerable households.

(Visual: $4 Billion Canada Housing Benefit. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. A drawing of various types of buildings stretches from left to right, and a tall box in the middle shows how it is estimated that the Canada Housing Benefit will help offset the yearly rental costs of some 300,000 Canadian households.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

A central feature of the National Housing Strategy is a $15.9 billion National Housing Co-Investment Fund.

The objective of the Fund is to ensure that existing rental housing is not lost to disrepair and to develop new high-performing affordable housing that is located close to necessary supports and amenities: from public transit and jobs to daycare, schools and healthcare.

It will do this by offering a combination of capital contributions to offset development or construction costs, and low-interest loans as an affordable financing option.

In total the Fund consists of $4.7 billion in financial contributions and $11.2 billion in loans. This is a key tool in promoting the development of housing that will support strong communities and better life chances for individuals and families.

For new developments, the Fund will prioritize mixed use, mixed income housing developments that are well located.

The Fund is also a key means to help repair and renew existing community-based housing.

We expect to repair or renew 240,000 units. The Fund will prioritize projects that exceed mandatory minimum requirements in affordability, efficiency and accessibility.

This will support Canada's climate change goals as well as improve accessibility of housing for people with disabilities.

Partnerships will also be a central feature of the Fund in order to maximize investments, ensure coordination of efforts, and supplement federal funding.

The Fund will integrate the previously announced Rental Construction Financing Initiative and Affordable Rental Innovation Fund delivered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

(Visual: $15.9 Billion National Housing Co-Investment Fund. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. The overall outcomes of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund are presented in five boxes in the middle.

A drawing of various types of buildings stretches from left to right at the bottom, a caption underneath stating that applications under the Fund will be accepted starting April 1, 2018.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

The federal government is deeply committed to ensuring that Canada's existing social housing stock remains affordable and in good repair well into the future. That is why the National Housing Strategy includes significant investments to support community-based housing.

The goal is to preserve the total number of community housing units in Canada and expand that by a modest amount. The Canada Community Housing Initiative will provide $4.3 billion to provinces and territories to support their efforts to protect and build a sustainable community-based housing system.

In order to benefit from this initiative, provinces and territories will be required to cost match federal funding, bringing the total amount to $8.6 billion. This joint investment will preserve 330,000 community housing units across the country and it would also see rental assistance expanded to support another 50,000 households.

The National Housing Strategy will also invest $500 million over 10 years to fund a new Federal Community Housing Initiative to protect tenants and stabilize the operations as some 55,000 units of federally administered social housing.

New operating agreements will be put in place as old ones expire, to ensure that social housing providers will continue to receive federal funding to subsidize rents for tenants in need.

A Technical Resource Centre will also support housing providers through the transition.

(Visual: $9.1 Billion Maintaining a Resilient Community Housing Sector. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. The left-hand side shows investments under the Canada and the Federal Community Housing Initiatives.

On the right-hand side, the outcomes of these initiatives are shown in multiple boxes. At the bottom, on the right-hand side, drawing of various types of buildings.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

Provinces and territories are the primary partners in the National Housing Strategy and the National Housing Strategy invests heavily in provinces and territories so that all regions will achieve better housing outcomes.

In total, the National Housing Strategy will deliver $20.5 billion in federal housing investment to provinces and territories. You can see the rundown investments on the right-hand side of the slide. Most of these investments will require joint investment by the provinces and territories.

I've already covered many of these investments, such as the Canada Housing Benefit, so I'll focus on what's new towards the bottom of the right-hand side.

$1.1 billion for a new federal-provincial-territorial housing partnership fund. This will support provinces and territories in addressing their distinct housing priorities, where provinces and territories cost match.

It will bring the total investment to $2.2 billion. There's also $300 million in additional federal funding to address housing needs in Canada's North.

(Visual: Enhanced Support to Provinces and Territories. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. The left-hand side shows the expected results through federal investment in provinces and territories.

A drawing of tall buildings separates a summary of the various investments made or to be made on the right-hand side.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

In addition to investments in new housing programs, the National Housing Strategy also emphasized this enhance research and data collection. This will help us better understand Canada’s housing markets, fill data gaps and promote economic stability.

Improving the quality and availability of housing data and information is critical in helping us measure the success of the National Housing Strategy, but it's also critical in helping us better understand needs and to help shape future directions.

Over the next 10 years, $241 million will be invested in new data collection tools and to encourage more housing related research outside of government to diversify information sources and perspectives.

The National Housing Strategy will also fund solution labs that will bring experts together to rapidly incubate and scale potential solutions to housing affordability pressures. Through open competitive processes, teams from the housing sector will be invited to identify housing challenges in key National Housing Strategy priority areas and propose strategies to develop new world leading solutions.

There will also be funding and support to demonstrate with real on-the-ground housing developments or virtual demonstrations what is possible aligned with the goals of the national housing strategy.

(Visual: $241 Million Evidence-Based Housing: Research, Data and Demonstrations. The National Housing Strategy brand is on the top left-hand side. This describes how the funds will be expended/allocated, and what results are targeted.

Hyperlink: placetocallhome.ca at the bottom on the left-hand side.)

Over the coming months, the initiatives under the National Housing Strategy will be designed and finalized. They're expected to start rolling out from April 1st, 2018 onwards.

As I've mentioned earlier in this webinar, this is not a set it and forget it strategy. We will review our progress against the plan and ongoing reporting of outcomes will be essential as this will allow for adjustment to the programs to ensure that the National Housing Strategy continues to have positive impacts on those most in need.

The National Housing Strategy will truly create a new generation of housing in Canada. Thank you and we look forward to working with you to implement Canada's National Housing Strategy.

(Visual: The National Housing Strategy brand and A place to call home are shown in the middle. The Canada word mark appears underneath.)

Principles of the National Housing Strategy

That National Housing Strategy recognizes that every Canadian deserves a safe home that they can afford. The Strategy keeps the local context in mind and considers how these housing investments can work together with other investments to create stronger communities.

The National Housing Strategy is built on partnership — between the federal government, provinces, territories, municipalities, the social and private sectors and persons with lived experience of housing need. 

Transcript

(Music plays)

A home is so much more than a roof over one’s head.

(Visual: A series of tiles appear on the screen, showing multiple individuals doing regular daily activities in different scenarios. The screen zooms towards the tile at the centre of the screen until no other tiles are visible.)

Safe, affordable housing is a cornerstone of sustainable and inclusive communities.

(Visual: The centre tile contains a video of a small residential area, covered in brightly coloured trees, from an overhead point-of-view. This video is followed by a short clip of four semi-finished homes on a plot of land, with a view of large mountains in the background. It then transitions to a video of a finished wooden home.)

Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy is a 10-year, 40-billion-dollar plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.

(Visual: The NHS logo quickly moves in from the right side of the screen to the centre. The logo reads ‘National Housing Strategy’ in grey and purple, with an animated outline of a house on the top left corner of the text. This appears over videos of commercial buildings and construction of industrial properties. The logo fades out. A visual of a middle-aged woman welcoming children as they walk through a door is shown.)

The National Housing Strategy supports the federal government’s vision for our future: a place where we can all prosper and thrive.

(Visual: A video of a woman overlooking a downtown landscape is displayed. This transitions to a video clip of several seniors in a communal area, socializing and drinking coffee. The next video shows a family of four moving towards the camera in front of a finished home.)

Powered by unprecedented investments and partnerships, the strategy will ensure more Canadians have access to safe and affordable homes.

(Visual: A person is seen writing on a piece of paper. A middle-aged woman is then observed speaking to a group of other individuals. Next, a video of a young woman speaking in front of several semi-finished homes appears. This cuts to a video of a father carrying his son around their home. A child is then seen smiling and laughing.)

The Strategy is guided by certain principles, including:

  • Prioritizing those most in need;
  • Supporting Canada’s climate change agenda and commitment to accessible communities;

(Visual: The camera follows a construction worker through a building site. Another worker is then displayed showcasing the building site from the exterior, while work is being done. A video of an elderly man washing his dishes is shown next. This cuts to an overhead visual of collection of finished housing units, all of which have solar panel roofing. A young man pushing his wheelchair in a hallway is then seen.)

  • Fostering inclusion, participation, accountability, and non-discrimination;
  • Prioritizing, protecting and growing a resilient community housing sector;
  • And strengthening the middle class and growing the economy.

(Visual: Several seniors are viewed in a communal area socializing with one another. This visual is followed by a video of two men and one young boy sitting together, talking and smiling. The next clip displays a construction worker showing a man wearing a suit around the interior of a semi-finished construction site. A video of a young boy playing soccer, with his father, in his backyard displaces the previous clip.)

Overall, the strategy will give us the platform we need to work together to create a new generation of housing in Canada and improve the lives of people across the country.

(Visual: The on-screen visual of the boy and his father playing soccer zooms out to show it as one of the tiles that were displayed at the beginning of the video. Each tile again showcases a video of various individuals carrying out daily lifestyle activities. The visual of the tiles continues to zoom out and each tile quickly disappears, showing a white background.)

And that’s something we can all get excited about!

(Visual: The NHS logo quickly moves in from the right side of the screen to the centre. The logo reads ‘National Housing Strategy’ in grey and purple, with an animated outline of a house on the top left corner of the text. Text then fades in at the bottom of the screen, centred under the NHS logo)

(Text: #NationalHousingStrategy; A place to call home; placetocallhome.ca)

(Visual: The NHS Logo and accompanied text quickly fades, showing a white background. The Government of Canada logo then quickly fades in.)

(Music fades out)