Progress on the National Housing Strategy | A Place to Call Home
Skip to main content
 

Progress on the National Housing Strategy

On November 22, 2017, the Government announced Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy (NHS), a 10-year, $40 billion plan, to help reduce homelessness and improve the affordability, availability and quality of housing for Canadians in need.

Thanks to new investments announced in Budget 2019, Canada’s NHS is now a 10-year, $55+ billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is proud to lead the NHS and is working with key partners to maximize results for Canadians.

Construction Timeline

The construction of affordable housing takes time; not counting the many years it takes for planning, permitting, site preparation and design.

The completion of a multi-unit affordable housing project, whether new construction or renovation, can take up to three years after funding is advanced.

Depending on how funding agreements are structured, funding under the NHS can be delivered over several years; further extending the time to complete an affordable housing project.

Federal NHS Initiatives

Key Highlights:

  • Over $6.9 billion in commitments made to support:
    • The creation and repair of over 94,400 units (over 34,400 new units and repair of over 60,000 units);
    • Over 6,200 units are currently under construction or built;
    • The continuing availability of over 23,300 community housing units where operating agreements expired.

Create New/Modernize Existing Housing Supply

Initiative Launch Date Funding Target Progress to Date
Affordable Housing Innovation Fund September 30, 2016 $200 million over 5 years Create 4,000 affordable housing units using innovative business approaches and building techniques.

CMHC has committed over $115.0 million to support the creation of over 12,600 units, of which close to 12,100 will be affordable.

 

Of the 12,600 units, over 6,800 are conditional commitments, and over 5,800 are financial commitments.

 

This includes over 2,300 units currently under construction or built.

Rental Construction Financing April 20, 2017 $13.75 billion over 11 years Construction of more than 42,500 new rental housing units across Canada.

CMHC has committed over $4.9 billion to support the creation of over 15,900 units, of which over 10,700 will be affordable.

Of the 15,900 units, over 8,300 are conditional commitments, and almost 7,600 are financial commitments.

This includes over 3,500 units currently under construction or built.

National Housing Co-Investment Fund May 2, 2018 $13.2 billion over 10 years Create 60,000 new housing units and repair or renew 240,000 housing units

CMHC has committed over $1.9 billion (over $1.1 billion in loans and over $800 million in contributions) to support the creation of over 6,000 new units and the repair/renewal of over 60,000 units.

 

These units include the creation of over 1,200 seniors units, creation and repair of over 1,000 shelter units, and the creation of over 300 units for people with developmental disabilities.

 

New Units

Of the 6,000 new units, over 5,300 units are conditional commitments, and over 600 units are financial commitments, of which over 440 units are currently under construction or built.

 

Repair/Renewal Units

Of the 60,000 repair units, over 1,000 are conditional commitments, and over 58,900 are financial commitments, of which over 40 units are currently under construction or repaired/renewed.

Of the 60,000 repair units, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) application accounted for $810 million in low cost loans and $530 million in contributions representing over 58,000 repair units in their portfolio

As of December 31, 2019

National Housing Co-Investment Fund

Historic Investment: On April 5, 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new $1.3 billion partnership with the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) – the largest federal housing investment with a municipal partner in Canadian history – to support the renovation of more than 58,000 housing units with completion expected for 2030-31.

Initiative Launch Date Funding Target Progress to Date
Federal Lands Initiative February 11, 2019 $200 million over 10 years Create 4,000 affordable housing units by transferring surplus federal lands and buildings to housing providers at low or no cost. CMHC has financially committed over $5.2 million through 2 surplus federal properties to support the creation of over 280 units.

As of December 31, 2019

How progress is tracked

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation tracks and reports on progress at four different phases:

  1. Conditional Commitment: funding is earmarked to support the building or repair of units of whose formal project agreement is still subject to final approvals and conditions (letter of intent is signed);
  2. Financial Commitment: formal loan agreement is duly executed and a binding agreement is reached to provide credit under pre-specified terms and conditions  (letter of agreement is signed);
  3. Construction/Repair Underway: in the process of being built or repaired; and
  4. Completed: built or repaired.
Funding to Support the Community (Social) Housing Sector
Initiative Launch Date Funding Target Progress to Date
Federal Community Housing Initiative (FCHI) April 1, 2018
(Phase I)

April 1, 2020
(Phase II)

$500 million over 10 years Maintain the affordability of 55,000 community housing units, including 11,000 low income units, with operating agreements under federal administration through CMHC.

Phase I subsidy extensions currently supporting over 23,300 households representing a total investment of $26.6 million.

Details on FCHI Phase II were announced on June 26, 2019

Community Housing Transformation Centre

and

Sector Transformation Fund

April 11, 2019

 

Fall 2019

$68.6 million over 9 years

 

 

 

Increase knowledge and technical capacity of the community housing sector to support effective and sustainable business models while continuing to provide affordable housing.

Funding and tools for housing providers to support efficient and effective business models.

The Centre and supporting initiatives were announced on April 11, 2019 and are delivered by a third party comprised of a partnership of community housing organizations.

$4.4 million was provided to the Centre. Operational design and initial set up work has begun.

Community Based Tenant Initiative Fall 2019 $10 million* over 5 years

*Funding part of the $68.6 million for the Community Housing Transformation Centre.

Funding for local organizations that assist people in housing need to enable participation in housing decision-making.  N/A

As of December 31, 2019

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy
Initiative Launch Date Funding Target Progress to Date
Reaching Home April 1, 2019 $2.1 billion over 9 years Reduce chronic homelessness by half by March 2028 New initiative launched on April 1, 2019.

*Program led by Employment and Social Development Canada.

Improving Homeownership Options for Canadians
Initiative Launch Date Funding Target Progress to Date
Shared Equity Mortgage Provider (SEMP) Fund July 31, 2019 $100 million over five years Assist 1,500 first-time homebuyers and assist in the creation of 1,500 projected new homeownership units 10 providers have submitted applications across both streams and are at various stages of underwriting
First-Time Home Buyer Incentive September 2, 2019 $1.25 billion over three years Assist 100,000 first-time homebuyers CMHC has approved over 2,900 applications, representing $55.6million in approved Shared Equity Mortgages.
First-Time Home Buyer Incentive by Region
Region British Columbia Alberta Prairies & North Ontario Quebec Atlantic
Approved Applications (#) 126 738 266 366 1284 177
Approved Shared Equity Mortgages ($) $2.3M $18.0M $4.8M $7.2M $20.8M $2.5M

As of December 31, 2019

Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing
Initiative Launch Date Description Progress to Date
National Housing Strategy Act N/A The Act recognizes the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right affirmed in international law. The Act will require the federal government to maintain a National Housing Strategy to further housing policy, taking into account key principles of a human rights-based approach to housing, and report to Parliament every three years on the progress towards the Strategy’s goals and outcomes. Tabled in Parliament on April 8, 2019, as part of Bill C-97, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019.
National Housing Council August 20, 2019 The Council, with diverse representation, will further housing policy by providing advice to the responsible Minister on, among other things, the effectiveness of the National Housing Strategy with the aim of improving housing outcomes.

Public call for applications ran from August 20 to October 14, 2019.

The Minister will appoint Council members. Establishment of the Council planned for 2020.

Federal Housing Advocate 2020 The Federal Housing Advocate is appointed by the Governor in Council and supported by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
The Advocate will monitor the implementation of the housing policy and assess their impact on persons who are members of vulnerable groups and persons with lived experience of housing need or homelessness. Applying a human-rights lens, the Advocate will also monitor progress in meeting the goals, timelines and outcomes of the National Housing Strategy and consider systemic housing issues. The Advocate will provide advice and report to the Minister on their findings and recommended measures (over which Parliament has jurisdiction) to further the housing policy. The Advocate may also ask the National Housing Council to establish a review panel to conduct hearings on systemic housing issues.
The Governor in Council will appoint the Federal Housing Advocate in 2020.

Data, Innovation & Research

Over the next 10 years, $241 million will be invested in new data collection tools, demonstration projects and solution labs, and efforts to spur more housing-related research, within and external to government, to help diversify information sources and perspectives.

A total of nine new Data, Innovation and Research initiatives were launched in 2018 to better understand housing needs, conditions and markets, and to fill data gaps and inform decision-makers.

In the spring of 2019, a second call for application was launched for several programs, including the Solutions Labs, the NHS Demonstrations Initiative, the NHS Research and Planning Fund, the CMHC Housing Research Scholarship Program and the Housing Research Awards.

Innovation
Initiative Launch Date Funding Available Target Progress to Date
Solutions Labs May 21, 2018 $24.5 million over 10 years Support experts and housing stakeholders to incubate and scale potential solutions to housing affordability pressures. $2.2 million invested to support 11 solutions labs fostering innovation in the housing sector.
Demonstrations Initiative May 21, 2018 $12.5 million over 10 years Support demonstrations of forward-looking technologies, practices and strategies that explore the future of housing in Canada. Over $1 million invested to support 9 demonstration projects.

 

Capacity Building
Initiative Launch Date Funding Available Target Progress to Date
Housing Research Scholarship Program Spring 2018 $3.65 million over 10 years Funding for Postdoctoral Fellowships to help build housing expertise in Canada. $720,000 in scholarships awarded for eight postdoctoral fellowships to conduct research in support of the NHS.
CMHC Housing Research Award Program April 2018 $400,000 over 10 years Promote and extend world-class housing research.

Awards ceremonies held on November 21, 2018, and December 5, 2019.

6 awards and 4 travel bursaries for a total of $90,000.

 

Collaborative Housing Research Network July 12, 2018 $13.9 million over 10 years Canada-wide collaboration of academics and community partners in research to inform housing policy decision-making. $640,000 awarded to 8 Partnership Development Grants ($80,000 each) to help lay the foundation of the Network.

As of December 31, 2019

Thought Leadership
Initiative Launch Date Funding Available Target Progress to Date
NHS Research and Planning Fund June 18, 2018 $6.6 million over 10 years Support non-profit housing stakeholders seeking to undertake housing related research. Over $1.1 million has been awarded to 12 research proposals.
NHS Housing Needs Data Fall 2018 N/A Enhance data collection and analysis, development of new housing surveys and comprehensive database with social, economic and financial information to produce housing statistics.

2 new surveys created to better understand the social and affordable housing stock (by structure and tenant assessments).

First results from the Canadian Housing Survey (Statistics Canada)

First results from the Social and Affordable Housing Survey – Rental Structures (CMHC)

As of December 31, 2019

Enabling/Connecting
Initiative Launch Date Description Progress to Date
Expert Community on Housing (ECOH) November 21, 2018 Web-based virtual community of practice for housing experts to address challenges and problems in housing Currently hosting 400 members with ongoing intake of new members.
National Housing Conference 2018 Annual conference to bring together experts. 2020 National Housing Conference to take place on May 12-13, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario

As of December 31, 2019

Federal/Provincial/Territorial NHS Investments

On April 9, 2018, a new Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Housing Partnership Framework was endorsed (except by Quebec), setting the foundation for NHS initiatives cost-matched and delivered by provinces and territories.

To date, the Government has announced new bilateral agreements with 12 provincial and territorial partners, and an arrangement with one province for the Canada Housing Benefit (CHB), with total signed agreements representing over $10 billion in joint funding over 10 years to protect, renew and expand community housing, and support provincial priorities related to housing repair, construction and affordability.

Action Plans have been publicly released by the following provinces:

How progress is tracked

Information is available to CMHC once claims related to funding commitments from provinces and territories have been received and processed (claims-based indicators).

Provinces and territories will develop and publicly release action plans that align with the NHS every 3 years to put their planned actions into context and to establish targets. Provinces and territories will also provide a progress report to CMHC every six months that will include progress towards realizing the targets and outcomes set out in the NHS.

Provincial/Territorial NHS Initiatives

Create New/Modernize Existing Housing Supply
Initiative Launch Date Funding Target Progress to Date
Funding for Northern Territories April 1, 2018 $300 million over 10 years

(no cost-matching)

Help offset the higher need and cost of housing in the North. The Territories committed $30 million to support 96 units (79 new units and 17 reno units).
Canada Community Housing Initiative 2019 $8.6 billion over 9 years

(cost-matched)

Protect, regenerate and expand community housing administered by provinces and territories, and supported by former federal programs. Provinces and territories are developing action plans and beginning to roll out new housing programs and commitments, in addition to strengthening existing programs.
PT Priority Funding 2019 $2.2 billion over 9 years

(cost-matched)

Address distinct provincial and territorial housing needs and priorities, including affordability, repair and construction. Provinces and territories are developing action plans and beginning to roll out new housing programs and commitments, in addition to strengthening existing programs.

Canada Housing Benefit April 2020 $4 billion over 8 years

(cost-matched)

Financial housing benefit provided directly to families and individuals in housing need.

Addendum signed with Ontario.

Program under co-development by federal and provincial/territorial governments.

As of December 31, 2019

Indigenous and Northern Housing

Improving Housing Conditions (First Nation, Inuit & Métis Housing)

Since Budget 2016, the Government through, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Indigenous Services Canada, is supporting projects to build or renovate/retrofit over 18,000 homes in First Nations communities, of which almost 12,900 or 71 per cent have been completed, as of September 30, 2019.

With respect to Inuit housing, the Government, through Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, supported the construction of 288 new housing units between 2016 and September 30, 2019.

The NHS programs prioritize applications from Indigenous communities, including Métis, First Nation, and Inuit.

National Housing Strategy Investments

Investments totalling $638 million under the NHS will ensure that Indigenous peoples living in urban, rural and Northern communities have better housing outcomes now, and for generations to come.

Through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, a total of $413 million is dedicated to address Indigenous homelessness in urban centres over the next nine years.

An investment of $225 million will ensure community housing providers can protect affordability for Indigenous families and undertake necessary repairs to their projects. This will help stabilize the existing community housing stock while longer-term strategies are developed.

$200 million is delivered through the new and more progressive bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

$25 million for Indigenous housing projects is delivered through the National Housing Co-Investment Fund.

Indigenous peoples and Northerners will benefit from an additional $300 million over 10 years, delivered by the territories, to support new construction and repairs to existing affordable housing in Northern communities.

The North will also benefit from additional funding from provincial and territorial NHS initiatives, including the Canada Community Housing Initiatives, PT Priority Funding and the Canada Housing Benefit.

Indigenous Housing Strategies

Indigenous leaders have told the Government that when it comes to housing in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation communities, the best approach is one that respects the distinct needs of each group and community. Through investments made in Budget 2017 and Budget 2018, the Government is providing $1.5 billion in distinctions-based support for a First Nations-led housing Strategy, an Inuit-led housing plan, and the Métis Nation’s housing strategy:

  • $600 million over 3 years to support new construction and repairs to First Nation housing units, as well as the development of a 10-year housing strategy that is being developed with First Nations.
  • $400 million over 10 years to support new construction and repairs to housing units in Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and Inuvialuit as well as the Inuit Nunangat Housing Strategy. This is in addition to the $240 million over 10 years announced in Budget 2017 to support housing in Nunavut.
  • $500 million over 10 years to support the Métis Nation housing strategy.

First Nations Housing Programs

CMHC partners with First Nation communities to support their housing goals. We offer tools, training, programs and knowledge to help First Nations build, maintain and care for homes in their communities and develop new housing-related skills.

The Government provides approximately $326 million annually to First Nation communities in support of housing. Funding is delivered through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC).

CMHC Housing Programs*: $183 million to support the construction of some 850 new homes built, renovation of over 700 houses and ongoing subsidy to 23,000 households living in First Nation communities.

*From April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019

ISC Housing Programs: an average of $143 million to support a range of housing needs, including construction, renovation, maintenance, insurance, capacity building, debt servicing and the planning and management of First Nations’ communities housing portfolios.

First Nations Market Housing Fund

The $300 million First Nations Market Housing Fund (FNMHF) promotes and supports the expansion of market-based housing in First Nations communities. The Fund is overseen by nine Trustees, including a chairperson. The trustees are responsible for overseeing the FNMHF’s governance and practices, and guiding its direction to achieve its objectives.

For more information, visit the FNMHF web page.

Other Housing Programs (PRIOR TO LAUNCH OF THE NHS)

Existing Funding for Community (Social) Housing

Community housing is owned and operated by non-profit, co-operative or local government housing providers.

Federal investments in existing community (social) housing — built mostly between 1946 and 1993 — continue to be substantial. From April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019, CMHC provided over $1.4 billion in expenditures for existing community housing programs.

Subsidies through long-term operating agreements help ensure that lower income families living in these units do not pay a disproportionate amount of their income on housing. As legacy operating agreements are ending, housing providers can turn to the Federal Community Housing Initiative or Canada Community Housing Initiative to help preserve this stock.

*Given the Government’s renewed commitment to community housing, a new approach to reporting on community housing units is under development.

Other CMHC Housing Programs

CMHC’s Seed Funding program supports affordable housing through interest-free loans and/or non-repayable contributions to help with costs related to pre-development activities.

CMHC’s Preservation Funding for Community Housing helps existing community housing providers remain viable and prepare for future funding opportunities by providing financial assistance to support the cost of completing preservation activities. 

From April 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 (19/20 Fiscal Year), CMHC has provided approximately $11.5 million in contributions and $8.3 million in loans under these programs.

* Both programs can be combined with other National Housing Strategy funding initiatives.

Investment in Affordable Housing (2011-2019)

Through the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH), the federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), invested more than $1.9 billion over eight years, from April 2011 to March 2019.

Under the IAH, Provinces and Territories matched the federal investment and were responsible for program design and delivery in order to meet local housing needs and priorities.

From April 2011 to March 2019, over 420,000 households are no longer in housing need as a result of this funding.*

*The number of households is equal to the number of units identified in P/T claims to CMHC.

Homelessness Partnering Strategy (2014–2019)

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) — replaced by Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy on April 1, 2019 — was a unique community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness. The program provided direct funding and support to Designated Communities (urban centres) as well as Indigenous and rural and remote communities in all provinces and territories.

Through the HPS, the federal government invested $762 million over five years to prevent and reduce homelessness. Between April 2014 and March 2019, 74,111 Canadians* who were homeless or at serious risk of homelessness were placed in more stable housing.

*Led by Employment and Social Development Canada. 

BUDGET 2016: Expanding Affordable Housing (2016–2018)

Budget 2016 increased federal investments in affordable housing by $2.3 billion over two years to give Canadians greater access to more affordable housing while the Government worked to develop the National Housing Strategy.

Expanding Affordable Housing: Provincial and Territorial Delivery

Budget 2016 allocated close to $1.4 billion to provinces and territories to identify communities where the need for affordable housing is greatest.

Federal Investments/Initiatives Results

Doubling the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH)

$504.4 million

in federal funding to double federal funding under the provincial/territorial cost-matched portion of the IAH (delivered by provinces and territories).

 

Cost-matched

174,170 households assisted.

Increasing Affordable Housing for Seniors (IAH)

$200.7 million

in federal funding to increase affordable housing for seniors and improve their housing conditions (provided through the IAH, delivered by provinces and territories).

 

*No cost-matching

6,247 seniors households assisted.

Increasing Affordable Housing for Victims of Family Violence (IAH)

$89.9 million

in federal funding for the construction and renovation of off-reserve shelter spaces for victims of family violence (provided through the IAH, delivered by provinces and territories).

 

*No cost-matching

5,868 households assisted.

Supporting Energy- and Water-Efficiency Retrofits to Existing Community Housing (IAH)

$490.4 million

in federal for retrofits and renovations to existing community housing administered by the provinces and territories to address the increasing demand for repairs, improve efficiency and reduce energy use (provided through the IAH, delivered by provinces and territories).

 

*No cost-matching

95,095 units retrofitted or renovated.

Supporting Northern Housing (IAH)

$97.7 million

in federal funding to address urgent housing needs in Northern communities (provided through the IAH, delivered by territories).

 

*No cost-matching

687 households assisted.

Expanding Affordable Housing: Federal Programs

Budget 2016 also committed $870 million in new funding over two years to support federally administered housing and homelessness programs, including programs for First Nation people living on- and off-reserve.

Federal Investments/Initiatives Results

Renovation and Retrofit of Existing Federally Administered Community Housing

$83.5 million

for retrofits and renovations to existing federally administered community housing to address the increasing demand for repairs, improve efficiency and reduce energy use.

 

8,457 units renovated or retrofitted.

Rent Subsidies for Federally Administered Community Housing Providers

$30 million

to renew subsidies for eligible federally administered community housing projects that have operating agreements expiring by the end of March 2018.
10,319 housing subsidies renewed up to March 2018.

Tackling Homelessness

$111.8 million

to provide direct support and funding to communities across Canada, through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, for projects to prevent and reduce homelessness. This funding was in addition to existing funding of nearly $600 million over five years (2014-19).

 

28,868 who were homeless or at serious risk of homelessness have more stable housing.

Improving Housing in First Nations Communities

$554.3 million

to address urgent housing needs

 

$416.6 million to address immediate housing needs.
$127.7 million to support the renovation and retrofit of existing housing.
$10 million for skills and capacity development for the design, construction, inspection and overall management of housing in First Nations communities.

5,717 units renovated or retrofitted

464  First Nations communities assisted

$10.4 million

to support the construction of five new shelters for victims of family violence and the renovation of existing shelters in First Nations communities.
The construction of all five shelters has been completed.

Supporting Inuit Housing

$80 million

to address housing needs in three Inuit regions.

 

189 new units built

Housing Internship Initiative for First Nations and Inuit Youth (HIIFNIY)

$5 million

to support internships for Indigenous youth under HIIFNIY, which provides work experience and on-the-job training in the housing sector. Funding was provided in Budget 2016 under the renewed Youth Employment Strategy.

 

537 youth internships provided

Assisting Homeowners Affected by Pyrrhotite

$30 million

to help homeowners deal with costly structural problems in their homes as a result of the presence of the mineral pyrrhotite in their foundations.

 

The Province of Quebec claimed $30 million to benefit 445 homeowners.

Prepayment Flexibilities for Co-operative and Non-Profit Housing

$150 million

In Budget 2015, the Government announced $150 million over four years, starting in 2016/2017, to allow co-operative housing and non-profit community housing providers to prepay long-term, non-renewable mortgages held with CMHC, without any penalty.

 

442 long-term, non-renewable mortgages paid out representing $106.1 million in waived penalties.

Federal Housing Investments from November 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019

On August 27, 2019, the Government of Canada released a report titled Getting Housing Right: A Progress Report on Federal Housing Investments, which provides an overview of federal housing investments from November 1, 2015 to June 30, 2019.

To learn more about how the National Housing Strategy is helping Canadians, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.

Some of the results identified above form part of the Government of Canada’s broader $180 billion Investing in Canada Plan. To learn more and explore funded housing projects in your community, visit https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/about-invest-apropos-eng.html.

 See what actions we are taking in response to COVID-19.