THE federal government on Wednesday announced the first-ever national housing strategy, saying that a home makes Canadians feel more secure, making it easier to raise healthy children, pursue an education, and gain employment.
Across Canada, 1.7 million Canadians are in core housing need. To help address this, the strategy has set bold goals including:
- reducing chronic homelessness by 50 per cent;
- removing more than 530,000 households from housing need;
- creating four times as many new housing units as built under federal programs from 2005 to 2015;
- repairing three times as many existing housing units as repaired under federal programs from 2005 to 2015; and
- protecting an additional 385,000 households from losing an affordable place to live.
The National Housing Strategy will meet the needs of Canadians, by encouraging the construction of homes that are accessible and affordable near transit, work, and public services. This Strategy sets a long-term vision for housing in Canada with unprecedented investments and new programs that will deliver real results for Canadians working hard to improve their quality of life, according to the federal government.
The federal government will also work with provinces and territories to develop a $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit to be launched in 2020 to respond to local housing needs and priorities. This will be a significant new tool to address challenges of housing affordability in communities across the country. It will provide an estimated average of $2,500 per year to each household recipient, assisting at least 300,000 families when fully implemented. The benefit will be delivered directly to households as a portable benefit they can use to help with the costs of housing.
Sukh Dhaliwal, MP for Surrey-Newton, said: “Our government is taking leadership to ensure affordable housing for Canadians with the first-ever national housing strategy. This plan will support Canadians with the Canada Housing Benefit, promote construction of new homes, and renovation of existing homes that are near transit, work, and public services. Canadians deserve access to affordable housing, and this strategy ensures housing is within reach of Canadians. “