The governments of Canada and Ontario announced a joint investment of $1.4 billion in the first Canada Housing Benefit, a new fund aimed at providing direct affordability support to Ontarians in housing need.
Building on the Canada-Ontario Bilateral Agreement under the National Housing Strategy, the new Housing Benefit will provide funding directly to households unable to meet the high cost of housing. It will prioritize households that are on, or eligible to be on, a social housing waiting list and households in financial need living in community housing. This includes survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Indigenous persons, seniors and people with disabilities.
“Our government knows how important it is for the people of Ontario to have housing they can afford,” said the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are working with the federal government to deliver on provincial priorities – including making housing more affordable. The new Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit will give more options to people who are looking for housing that meets their needs and their budgets. The best results come from working together and that includes with all levels of government.”
In total, Canada will invest $2 billion in the Canada Housing Benefit across the country, which will be cost-matched by provinces and territories for a total $4 billion investment over eight years, starting in spring 2020. The federal government and provinces and territories are working together to co-develop 13 housing benefit programs, one for each jurisdiction, that will respond to local housing affordability challenges.
“Through the National Housing Strategy, more middle-class Canadians – and people working hard to join it – will find safe, accessible and affordable homes,” said the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for CMHC. “The Canada Housing Benefit is a key pillar of the National Housing Strategy that will help families across Canada. Together, we will build strong communities where Canadians can prosper and thrive, now and for the future.”
As announced earlier this year, Ontario’s community housing received an investment of more than $1 billion in 2019-20, which helped build, sustain, and repair community housing units that had been largely neglected for years.
“[This] announcement is another great example of how governments are working together to help our residents,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “Making sure people have access to affordable housing is a top priority for me as Mayor and that requires the cooperation and support of other levels of government. The City of Toronto has continuously advocated on behalf of our residents for increased investments in housing and the Canada Housing Benefit to the provincial and federal governments. This agreement helps respond to that request and will help more families have access to housing that is safe, secure, and affordable.”