Real estate
(file photo)

The Government of Canada has announced its first ever National Housing Strategy (NHS), a 10-year plan that will see $40 billion committed to keeping more Canadians in affordable housing.

The NHS is the first of its kind and aims to reduce chronic homelessness by 50%. Among the lofty goals include removing 530,000 households from housing need, building 100,000 new affordable housing units, and repairing or renewing 300,000 existing housing units.

Priority Given to Vulnerable Canadians

The NHS will prioritize the most vulnerable Canadians, including women and children fleeing family violence, Indigenous peoples, seniors, people with disabilities, young adults, and those dealing with mental health and addiction issues.

Every three years, Canada’s National Housing Strategy will be measured against its goals, and the according adjustments will be made.

An infographic displaying the 10-year goals of the National Housing Program. ( / screenshot)

Canadian Homelessness by the Numbers

  • 1.7 million Canadians are in housing need, or 4.68% of the population
  • 25,000 Canadians or 0.68% of the population are ‘chronically homeless’, defined as “people who have been homeless for a long time, potentially years”
  • Though the chronic homeless and episodically homeless (those who move in and out of homelessness) only make up roughly 4% of the Canadian homeless population, they consume more than half of the resources in the homelessness system (per’s 2013 study)
  • On any given night in Canada, 3,491 women and their 2,724 children sleep in shelters because it is not safe to sleep at home; an additional 300 women and children are turned away each night because shelters are full
  • 55% of Canadian households in core housing need are female-led

Financial Breakdown

  • $8.4 billion delivered through existing federal-provincial/territorial
    agreements in place from 2018-19 to 2027-28
  • $4.4 billion in federal investments in provincial and territorial housing
    programs in 2016 and 2017, including new investments
    announced in Budget 2016
  • $4.3 billion for a new Canada Community Housing Initiative that will
    protect, regenerate and expand community housing (totalling
    $8.6 billion with expected provincial/territorial cost-matching)
  • $2 billion for a new Canada Housing Benefit (totalling $4 billion with
    expected provincial/territorial cost-matching)
  • $1.1 billion for provinces and territories to address distinct housing
    priorities, including affordability, repair and construction (totalling
    $2.2 billion with expected provincial/territorial cost-matching)
  • $300 million in additional federal funding to address housing needs in
    Canada’s North

Progress to Date

  • 3,192 projects to assist 11,153 households in the Affordable Housing category
  • 949 projects to assist 3,553 households in the Affordable Housing for Seniors category
  • 3,118 projects to assist 4,520 households in the Affordable Housing for Victims of Family Violence category
  • 248 projects to retrofit or renovate 7,739 units of existing Federally Administered Community Housing

The full report can be read here.


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