Summary of measures contained in the 2017 federal budget

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Summary of measures contained in the 2017 federal budget

The following housing-related announcements were contained in the 2017 federal Budget released today by Finance Minister Bill Morneau:

Budget 2017 invests $11.2 billion over 11 years in a variety of initiatives designed to build, renew, and repair Canada’s stock of affordable housing.  This investment is broken down as follows:

  • $3.2 billion for provinces and territories to invest in their priorities related to affordable housing.  These priorities could include construction of new affordable housing, renovation of existing housing, rent subsidies, etc.  This funding will replace the Investment in Affordable Program scheduled to expire in 2018-19.
  • $5 billion for a new National Housing Fund.  The details of this Fund will be announced as part of the launch of the National Housing Strategy set to occur later in 2017.  Among the goals of this fund include:
    • Encouragement of greater collaboration and investment in housing
    • Expand direct lending for new rental housing supply and renewal
    • Supporting innovations in affordable housing
    • Preserve the affordability of social housing to support social housing provider transition to more sustainable operating models
    • Establish a new Sector Transformation Fund and Technical Resource Centre to provide technical assistance, tools and resources to help social housing providers with transitional strategies
  • $300 million to target support for Northern Housing
  • $225 million for providers who serve Indigenous people not living on reserve.  This funding will help with capital repairs, and ensure the continued affordability of existing units.
  • $2.1 billion to expand and extend funding for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy beyond 2018-19 when funding is set to end.  This funding will be guided by a new advisory panel on homelessness that is currently being created.
  • $202 million to expand the Surplus Federal Real Property for Homelessness Initiative.
  • $241 million to improve data collection and analytics, including $39.9 million to enable Statistics Canada to develop a new Housing Statistics Framework.

In addition, the Budget contained the following commitment:

Over the next number of years, a large number of operating agreements which help subsidize affordable rental housing will be expiring as CMHC-supported mortgages wind down.  The Government intends to preserve the baseline funding related to these agreements, so that Canadians have access to housing options that are affordable and meet their needs.  The use and renewal of these funds will be determined over the next year.  These funds are in addition to the new investments in affordable hosuing and homelessness supported by Budget 2017.

CHRA has received information from the federal government that this announcement means that the current level of CMHC funding for Operating Agreements, which is set to decline over the coming years, will be maintained at existing levels, but will be repurposed subject to the finalization of a National Housing Strategy later in 2017.  This amount is expected to total approximately $4 billion, and is in addition to the $11.2 billion over 11 years.