Affordable housing is top priority for provinces and territories: looking to federal government for meaningful engagement and investment

Issued through the Chair of the Provincial-Territorial Forum on Housing, Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Gene Makowsky, on behalf of all Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Housing.

Provinces and territories (PTs) are calling on the federal government to increase funding in a long-term, flexible, and collaborative manner to support the delivery of affordable housing programs both now and into the future.

Communities across Canada continue to face elevated home prices, increased rates of homelessness, and challenges related to housing affordability, adequacy, and supply. Rising costs in the construction industry have also significantly increased the cost to build and repair homes. While these challenges have strained PT resources, PTs remain committed to working with the federal government to maintain and expand affordable housing in their jurisdictions.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer estimates that the federal government will spend $45.9 billion over ten years on housing until the end of Canada’s National Housing Strategy in 2027-28 in new and pre-existing spending. In comparison, PT governments have invested approximately $20.1 billion over the last four years in housing, including building new homes, making improvements to existing affordable housing, providing services and supports to keep people in their homes, and addressing homelessness.

PTs are on pace to surpass federal investments in affordable housing by the end of the National Housing Strategy in 2027-28. While the federal National Housing Strategy has been marketed as a “$82+ billion plan”, this figure includes both loans and cost-matched spending by PTs, neither of which are true costs to the federal government. In addition, federal funding supports often lack operational funding to keep housing viable after it is built, leaving PTs and other housing partners responsible for ongoing costs.

PTs are the largest providers of affordable housing in Canada. With their understanding of local needs and circumstances, PT governments are best positioned to identify and allocate funding to areas that will have the greatest impact. PTs call on the federal government to work with them and provide financially sustainable and flexible funding that is responsive to local needs.

To support better outcomes on the funding and delivery of affordable housing, PTs request:

  • Increased and more flexible federal funding to complement existing PT programs and address local priorities to meet Canada’s current housing challenges.
  • Meaningful and proper engagement to develop housing solutions and outcomes that meet the unique needs and priorities of each jurisdiction.

Accessing affordable housing is a challenge for many Canadians. PTs welcome improved collaboration, greater flexibility, and increased funding, which will enable them to respond to this growing need.

Source: Ontario Newsroom