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

Create New/Modernize Existing Housing Supply

Key Highlights:

  • Over $4.5 billion in financial commitments made to support
    • The creation and repair of over 79,000 units
    • Over 3,400 units currently under construction
    • The maintenance of over 17,000 community housing units
Initiative Launch Date Funding Available Target Progress to Date
Affordable Housing Innovation Fund September 30, 2016 $200 million over five years Create up to 4,000 affordable housing units using innovative business approaches and building techniques. CMHC has committed over $86 million to support the creation of over 8,400 units, of which over 7,300 will be affordable.

Over 1,200 units currently under construction.

Rental Construction Financing April 20, 2017 $13.75 billion over 11 years Encourage the construction of more than 42,500 new rental housing units across Canada. CMHC committed $2.87 billion to support the creation of over 10,000 units, of which over 7,000 will be affordable.

Over 2,200 units currently under construction.

National Housing Co-Investment Fund May 2, 2018 $13.2 billion over 10 years Create 60,000 new affordable housing units and repair or renew 240,000 affordable housing units. CMHC has committed over $1.5 billion (over $890M in loans and over $650M in contributions) to support the creation of over 1,800 units and repair of over 59,000 units.

Of these totals, 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.

As of March 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 affordable housing units with final completion expected for 2030-31.

Initiative Launch Date Funding Available 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. 6 surplus federal properties have been listed for sale.

As of March 31, 2019

How progress is tracked

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

  1. Conditional Commitment: Units are recognized as conditional commitments once a letter of intent (LOI) is signed;
  2. Signed Commitment: Units are recognized as commitments once a letter of agreement (LOA) is signed;
  3. Construction/Repair Underway: number of units in the process of being built or repaired; and
  4. Completed: number of units built or repaired.
Funding to Support the Community (Social) Housing Sector
Initiative Launch Date Funding Available Target Progress to Date
Federal Community Housing Initiative April 1, 2018
(Phase I)

April 1, 2020
(Phase II)

$500 million over 10 years Maintain the affordability of 55,000 community housing units. Phase I subsidy extensions currently supporting over 17,000 households representing a total investment of $12.5 million.

As of March 31, 2019

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

Community Housing Transformation Centre


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.

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 March 31, 2019

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy
Initiative Launch Date Funding Available Target Progress to Date
Reaching Home April 1, 2019 $2.2 billion over 10 years Reduce chronic homelessness by half New initiative launched on April 1, 2019.

*Program led by Employment and Social Development Canada.

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 Coming Soon 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. N/A
Federal Housing Advocate TBC The Advocate, appointed by the Governor in Council, and supported by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, will be responsible for monitoring progress in meeting the NHS’ goals and timelines, and in achieving the Strategy’s desired housing outcomes. The Advocate will provide advice to the Minister responsible for CMHC, monitor the implementation of housing policy and assess its impact on persons who are members of vulnerable groups, including persons with lived expertise of housing need or homelessness. N/A

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.

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.

Inaugural awards ceremony held on November 21, 2018

3 awards and 1 travel bursary for a total of $40,000.

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 March 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 to better understand the social and affordable housing stock (by structure and tenant assessments).

As of March 31, 2019

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 70 members with ongoing intake of new members.
National Housing Conference 2018 Annual conference to bring together experts. Inaugural conference held in Ottawa, Ontario.

More than 300 participants from 10 countries; 21 sessions.

As of March 31, 2019

Federal/Provincial/Territorial NHS Investments

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

To date, the Government has signed new bilateral agreements with 10 provincial and territorial partners, representing over $7.5 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.

How progress is tracked

Information is available to CMHC once it receives claims related to funding commitments from provinces and territories (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 10 years


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 10 years


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


Financial housing benefit provided directly to families and individuals in housing need. Program under co-development by federal and provincial/territorial governments.

As of March 31, 2019

Indigenous and Northern Housing

Improving Housing Conditions (First Nation & Inuit Housing)

Since Budget 2016, the Government through, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Indigenous Services Canada, is supporting projects to build, renovate/retrofit, 16,439 housing units in First Nations on-reserve communities, of which 69 per cent (11,306) have been completed.

With respect to Inuit housing, 189 new housing units were built between 2016 and 2018.

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 units as operating agreements mature. This will help stabilize the existing community housing stock while longer-term strategies are developed.

$200 million will be delivered through new and more progressive bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

$25 million for Indigenous housing projects will be 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.

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 on reserve, as well as the development of a 10-year housing strategy that is being done 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 Nation On-Reserve 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 $312 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*: $169 million to support the construction of some 900 new homes built, renovation of 560 houses and ongoing subsidy to 24,300 households living on-reserve.

*From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018

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’ on-reserve housing portfolios.

First Nations Market Housing Fund

The $300 million First Nations Market Housing Fund promotes and supports the development of market-based housing in First Nation communities on a continuing long-term basis.

As of December 31, 2018, the Fund received more than 247 applications from First Nations. More than $970 million in potential loan backing has been approved for 114 of these communities through the Credit Enhancement Facility.

Led by the First Nations Market Housing Fund.

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.

Ongoing subsidies help ensure that lower income families living in these units do not pay a disproportionate amount of their income on housing.

In 2017, CMHC provided support to 518,000 households living in social housing (including in First Nations communities).

From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, CMHC provided close to $1.4 billion in expenditures for existing community housing programs.

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. 

As of March 31, 2019, CMHC has awarded approximately $4.5 million in contributions and $3.5 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.

As of March 31, 2019, over 420,000 households are no longer in housing need as a result of this funding.

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 by providing direct funding and support to 61 designated communities in all provinces and territories.

Through the HPS, the federal government invested $762 million over five years to prevent and reduce homelessness. As of March 31, 2019, 58,295 Canadians who were homeless or at serious risk of homelessness have been 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 $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).



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 (201419).


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 on-reserve


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

5,717 units to be 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 on-reserve.
The construction of all five on-reserve shelters have 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

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.

To learn more about how the National Housing Strategy is helping Canadians, visit

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