On May 2nd, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, was in Toronto to announce the launch of the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), a cornerstone initiative of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy.
Through the NHCF, the Government of Canada will work with partners to create up to 60,000 new affordable units and repair up to 240,000 affordable and community units over the next ten years. Investments will also support the creation or repair of at least 4,000 shelter spaces for survivors of family violence, the creation of at least 7,000 new affordable units for seniors and 2,400 new affordable units for people with developmental disabilities.
“Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy is built, in part, on the idea that when the federal government works collaboratively with its partners, we can give more Canadians a place to call home,” said Duclos. “The National Housing Co-Investment Fund is this idea in action. By working with our partners at all levels, more middle class Canadians—and those working hard to join it—will find safe, accessible, affordable homes, in vibrant and inclusive communities where families thrive, children learn and grow, and their parents have the stability and opportunities they need to succeed.”
With this $13.2 billion Fund, the federal government will have an active, sustained role in housing and draw upon up to $4.52 billion in contributions and $8.65 billion in low interest loans to ensure existing rental housing is well maintained and modernized for better energy efficiency and accessibility standards. It will support the development of new high-performing affordable housing across the country that is built to last and supports a human rights-based approach to housing.
The NHCF will be delivered in tandem with the recently created $3.75 billion Rental Construction Financing initiative and the $208.3 million Affordable Housing Innovation Fund. Combined, these three initiatives represent an investment of over $17.15 billion. This includes investments under Investing in Canada Plan.
The collaboration and commitment of partners, including municipalities, is more important than ever before to attain the NHS goal of creating a new generation of housing in Canada and help families in need. Investments under the NHCF will support projects that attract additional funding from other levels of government, not-for-profit and co-operative housing providers, and the private sector.
The NHCF will improve accessibility for people with disabilities, increase affordability and contribute to energy efficiency by prioritizing projects that exceed mandatory requirements.
- To ensure the next generation of affordable community housing in Canada is built to last, at least 25% reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions over national building and energy codes must be achieved for new construction projects and for repairs to existing projects. These minimum requirements represent the most ambitious environmental standards ever applied by governments to housing programs in Canada. They will be further enhanced and increased as the NHS is implemented in light of experience and improvements in technology and building science.
- The NHCF sets accessibility requirements for new and renewed projects and targets the construction, repair and renewal of housing for people with disabilities. As such, 20% of units must meet accessibility standards. Repair/renewal projects must be barrier-free in common areas and new construction projects must be barrier free and have full universal design.
- The government will aim for a target of 33% of investments to support projects that serve the unique needs of women and girls. The NHCF will support that objective by improving affordable housing options and increasing shelter space.
- To maximize the impact of the NHCF, up to $200 million-worth of federal lands will be made available to social and affordable housing providers at a discounted or no cost to encourage the development of affordable homes.
- To help more Canadians access housing that meets their needs and they can afford, the NHS sets out to achieve bold outcomes over the next 10 years, including removing more than 530,000 households from housing need, creating 100,000 new housing units as well as repairing and renewing more than 300,000 housing units.