(April 19, 2021, OTTAWA) – Following the unveiling of the 2021 Budget by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) expressed its deep disappointment that this Budget once again ignored the housing needs of Canada’s urban, rural and northern Indigenous peoples by failing to announce an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy. Although the Budget provides $2.5 billion in additional funding for existing affordable housing-related programs, these investments will not significantly address the affordable housing crisis in Canada, and will do nothing to address the imbalance in housing needs facing Canada’s urban and rural Indigenous population.
The affordable housing announcements in the Budget include:
- An additional $1.5 billion to be made available under the Rapid Housing Initiative, with details to follow.
- $600 million over seven years to renew and expand the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund
- $315.4 million over seven years to increase payments through the Canada Housing Benefit
See the attached list of relevant measures (PDF) for the community housing sector.
“Although the announcement of a second phase of the Rapid Housing Initiative is welcome, overall the Budget is a disappointment for those who hoped we could finally address the deep core housing needs facing Canada’s urban and rural Indigenous peoples”, said Jeff Morrison, Executive Director of CHRA.
“Overall, the new investments in affordable housing only scratch the surface compared to the need, and will not come close to meeting the CMHC objective of ensuring affordable housing for all Canadians by 2030. The lack of an urban and rural Indigenous housing strategy is extremely disappointing, especially given the Prime Minister’s commitment to develop such a strategy in the Mandate Letters”.
“For years, government officials have told us that an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy was a priority. The absence of such a strategy in today’s Budget will mean that urban and rural Indigenous peoples will continue to face inequality and lack of access to safe and affordable housing, and that is a disgrace. I hereby call on the federal government to address this missed opportunity by immediately committing in the days ahead to announce an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy as quickly as possible”, said Robert Byers, Chair of the CHRA Indigenous Caucus.
For more information:
Contact Jeff Morrison, Executive Director