National advocacy is one of our top functions here at the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association. We lobby federal decision-makers and achieve results on a range of issues impacting the social, non-profit and affordable housing sector in Canada. At a national level, we’re here to respond to our members’ needs – when members reach out, we take action.

Our advocacy efforts have resulted in significant positive impacts for our sector. Examples of recent achievements and activities include:

  • The announcement of a $40 billion, 10-year National Housing Strategy that will reinvest in the existing stock of social housing, invest in new social housing capacity, and protect Operating Agreement subsidies for the next 10 years.
  • The announcement of legislation that will implement the progressive right-to-housing for all people living in Canada.
  • An upcoming Technical Resource Centre that will provide funding and expert advice to housing providers wishing to transform their operations.
  • CHRA’s Indigenous Caucus is leading the effort to achieve a new Indigenous Housing Strategy that will invest in housing for urban and rural Indigenous peoples, as well as invest in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit housing.

Our work with the federal government on these and many other advocacy objectives continues. Find specific advocacy initiatives currently undertaken below. We are developing messages and resources for the 2019 federal election – stay tuned!

CHRA Sends Recommendations to Reform National Housing Co-Investment Fund and RCFI

Following a member consultation , CHRA forwarded a letter to Federal Minister for Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Ahmed Hussen and CMHC containing recommendations to improve the $13 billion National Housing Co-Investment Fund and the $25 billion Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI).

Read the letter (in English).

CHRA writes Minister Hussen with recommendations for the third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative

The 2022 federal Budget included a provision of $1.5 billion towards a third round of the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI). CHRA is pleased at the continuation of the RHI, having strongly advocated for such a program since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, CHRA sent a letter to Minister Amhed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, outlining some recommendations for the development of the third round of the RHI.

Read the letter (in English).

Proposals for the $4 Billion Municipal Accelerator Fund

During the 2021 federal election campaign, the Liberals promised to create a new $4 billion Municipal Accelerator Fund that would provide support to municipalities to accelerate and incentivize the development of new affordable housing. In order to inform the content and structure of this program, Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen launched a public consultation earlier this year to seek the views of Canadians. In response, CHRA held a consultation with its members in January to hear member views on the potential for this program - we thank all members who participated. Based on that session, CHRA has prepared a letter to Minister Hussen outlining our views on the content and structure of this proposed Fund. Read the letter.

Submission to the Pre-Budget Consultations for the 2022 Canadian Federal Budget

In early February, federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland launched a pre-budget consultation with Canadians. CHRA submitted a letter to the Minister outlining a number of key priorities that CHRA and its partners have identified over the past year, including the need for an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy, additional investments in community housing supply, and measures to address financialization. CHRA has also requested the opportunity to meet with the Minister to discuss these items in more detail. Read our submission.

Submission to the Pre-Budget Consultations for the 2019 Canadian Federal Budget

In response to the House of Commons Finance Committee’s annual call for recommendations to inform the federal government’s 2019 Budget, CHRA submitted a brief that included four specific recommendations: simplify and extend the Federal Community Housing Initiative; increase investment to build new affordable housing; expand the current Federal Lands Initiative to allow for acquisition of provincial or municipal lands for affordable housing; and develop and implement an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy. CHRA will be seeking an in-person appearance before the Finance Committee this fall to discuss these and other ideas directly with the Committee. Read our submission.

Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing

Submission to the National Consultation on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing

As the voice for the social, non-profit and affordable housing sector in Canada, we engage with the federal government on an ongoing basis to provide input and feedback on the legislated human rights-based approach to housing. Prior to its announcement, we were pleased to share our insights and expertise to inform the design of a legislated right-to-housing. We also participated in the roundtables on the human rights-based approach to housing and submitted an ideas paper to the national consultation - our submission comments on the five elements of the human rights-based approach outlined by the federal government, and includes additional observations and recommendations to assist the government in developing meaningful rights-based legislation. Read our submission.

Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy

Resolution on Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy

We firmly believe that a robust Indigenous housing strategy should include recognition of the growing need for culturally connected and adequate housing for urban, rural and northern Indigenous Peoples, with a view of housing as an integral part of reconciliation. Housing forms the foundation for vibrant Indigenous communities and remains a positive determinant of health and mental wellbeing, education, early childhood development and employment. Read more or find out how you can endorse the resolution.

For Indigenous, By Indigenous National Housing Strategy

Calling on the federal government to address the housing needs of urban, rural and northern Indigenous families and individuals, including the disproportionate representation of Indigenous Peoples living in homelessness and core housing the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association and its Indigenous Housing Caucus Working Group released A For Indigenous, By Indigenous (FIBI) National Housing Strategy. Read the strategy.

National Housing Strategy

Town Hall on the National Housing Strategy

At our town hall in December 2017, we discussed the federal government’s National Housing Strategy. It featured a presentation by Michel Tremblay, Senior Vice President, Policy, Research and Public Affairs; and Debbie Stewart, Director, Housing Needs from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The town hall allowed our members to ask questions and make comments about the strategy. View the recording.

Submissions to the Federal Government on the National Housing Strategy

We provided the Minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, with two sets of documents related to the release of the National Housing Strategy in fall 2017. The first includes recommendations on housing-related programs and announcements included in the federal Budget. The second is intended to serve as a policy framework for a distinct urban and rural Indigenous housing strategy. It was produced with the input of the Indigenous Caucus during its meeting in Halifax in May 2017, with oversight from CHRA's Indigenous Caucus Working Group. It is our position that there cannot be a National Housing Strategy without an Indigenous Housing Strategy. Read the submissions.