The 2022 Federal Budget: Our recommendations
Recently, CHRA and the CHRA Indigenous Caucus submitted their respective recommendations for federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s pre-budget consultation process. With the imminent release of the 2022 federal Budget, CHRA is optimistic that the Budget will introduce funding and programs to address the key priorities identified by CHRA, the Indigenous Caucus and its members. Read on to get an overview of our key recommendations for the 2022 Federal Budget.
The introduction of an urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing strategy
It should come as no surprise that the need for an urban, rural, and northern (URN) Indigenous housing strategy is the top priority for CHRA and the CHRA Indigenous Caucus. As CHRA and the Indigenous Caucus have stated repeatedly, “The lack of an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy has been the most blatant gap in the federal National Housing Strategy”.
In particular, the CHRA Indigenous Caucus submission recommends:
To support those in need of affordable housing, Canada would require over 73,000 new units of Indigenous housing per year for ten years. Construction associated with this housing requirement would create 313,500 jobs, add $12.5 billion to provincial economies, and create savings of over $47 billion dollars across the country.
The Caucus goes on to highlight investment costs and the tangible economic benefits that would come along with this level of housing development, including employment opportunities and the ability of tenants with affordable housing to spend more in their local economies.
Furthermore, an URN Indigenous housing strategy should adhere to the “For Indigenous, By Indigenous” vision and principle articulated by the Caucus in its 2018 FIBI strategy that called for a standalone Indigenous led and governed structure that would be responsible for implementing and overseeing this strategy.
Increased community housing supply and easier access to supply programs for providers
CHRA’s Pre-Budget Submission notes that “Increasing the supply of community housing is an obvious, yet critical step towards addressing core housing need in Canada”. The document includes the following recommendations:
Improve the National Housing Co-investment Fund. There have been challenges related to the National Housing Co-Investment Fund such as the application process, transparency, and the lengthy evaluation processes. CHRA “would strongly urge the federal government through CMHC to make improvements to the Co-investment Fund to increase access to, and expedite the issuance of monies through the program”. Once the application framework is improved, the federal government should then consider additional resources to the program.
Introduce a permanent Rapid Housing Initiative or similar supply program: The Rapid Housing Initiative has been generally well-received by the community housing sector. We recommend the “adoption of a more permanent-type program that would support developments including modular housing, acquisition, and other types of innovation housing solutions that would allow for timely development of housing”.
Increase access to lands as a step towards development: Access to land being a critical component of affordable housing development, CHRA “encourages the federal government to expand the mandate of the Federal Lands Initiative to include other forms of land transfer, including direct support for local land trusts, and increase resources accordingly”.
The introduction of measures to curtail financialization
The financialization of Canada’s housing stock is top-of-mind for the housing sector and those affected by it. CHRA recommends that the Budget include “a suite of measures aimed at addressing and curbing financialization”. We also offer to work with officials to support implementation of these measures.
Introduction of the proposed Municipal Accelerator Fund
During the 2021 federal election, the Liberal Party committed to introducing a $4 billion Municipal Accelerator Fund that would support municipalities by reducing barriers to developing new affordable housing. CHRA supports this initiative and sent a set of proposals to Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion in February 2022 outlining our views on how this Fund could be used.
We look forward to reviewing the 2022 Federal Budget and to working with the government to implement strategies to improve housing outcomes across the country.
To learn more about CHRA’s recommendations for the Budget: