Expanding the supply of affordable housing

The lack of affordable housing – including lower-end market housing and social housing – continues to be a serious concern in Metro Vancouver. The housing demand far outstrips supply, creating long waitlists, homelessness and impacts to the local economy.

More about the Issue

Regional Affordable Housing Strategy Metro Vancouver Housing Transit-Oriented Affordable Housing Study

Questions

 

If elected, will your party maintain and expand funding levels and priorities of the national housing strategy?

 

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    With approximately 10,000 people on the BC Housing waitlist and a growing population, Metro Vancouver estimates it will need more than 5,500 new rental units every year for the next 10 years in order to meet critical demand for affordable housing across the region. This includes lower-end market housing, subsidized housing and social housing.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, the federal government was a major partner in the development of affordable housing across the country, ensuring rents remained affordable. But, with the federal government’s withdrawal from the affordable housing space in the 1990s and 2000s, the supply of affordable housing hasn’t kept up with demand.

    The recently implemented National Housing Strategy has been a major step towards addressing the housing affordability crisis felt acutely in Metro Vancouver, but more can and must be done to build up supply.

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    Response not yet received.

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    Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Our government has been investing in housing that puts people first, helps build stronger communities, creates jobs, and supports the local economy. We launched Canada’s very first National Housing Strategy – a once-in-a-generation $55 billion investment to fight homelessness and improve access to housing across the country. While the Harper government cut funding and ignored affordable housing for years, our government has made the most investments in housing in Canadian history. By investing in affordable housing, we’re giving everyone a strong foundation so they can build a better future. We remain committed to this historic investment in affordable housing. Right here in BC that has meant thousands of renovations and new units for families that need them most, as well as new investments in the services that are helping those most vulnerable who are homeless. As we go forward with implementation, we will continue to monitor the investments we have made to ensure that we are able fulfill our commitments to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent and remove more than 500,000 households from core housing need.

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    Yes, a New Democrat government will create 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next ten years, with half of that done within five years. This will be achieved with the right mix of effective measures that work in partnership with provinces, municipalities and Indigenous communities, building capacity for social, community, and affordable housing providers and co-ops, and meeting environmental energy-efficiency goals. This ambitious plan will create thousands of jobs in communities all across the country, and help Canadians get the affordable housing they need. Our federal investment will begin with $5 billion in additional funding in the first year and a half of a New Democrat government.

  • If elected, Green MPs will:

    • Appoint a Minister of Housing to strengthen the National Housing Strategy so that it meets the needs for affordable housing that are unique to each province, and oversee its implementation in collaboration with provincial ministers. This recognizes that housing is provincial jurisdiction. The target would be 25,000 new and 15,000 rehabilitated units annually for the next 10 years.
    • Increase the National Housing Co-investment Fund by $750 million for new builds, and the Canada Housing Benefit by $750 million for rent assistance for 125,000 households.
    • Include new and existing housing as eligible infrastructure for funding purposes, allowing the Canada Infrastructure Bank to support provincial and municipal housing projects.
    • Provide financing to non-profit housing organizations and cooperatives to build and restore quality, energy efficient housing for seniors, people with special needs and low-income families.
    • Restore tax incentives for building purpose-built rental housing and provide tax credits for gifts of lands, or of land and buildings, to community land trusts to provide affordable housing.
    • Create a Canada Co-op Housing Strategy that would update the mechanisms for financing co-op housing, in partnership with CMHC, co-op societies, credit unions and other lenders.
    • Re-focus the core mandate of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporate (CMHC) on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, as opposed to its current priority of supporting Canadian lenders to de-risk investment in housing ownership. With many housing markets demonstrably overvalued, and home ownership rates among the highest in the world, individual home ownership should not be the preoccupation of a public service housing agency and a national housing strategy.


If elected, will your party increase the CMHC’s grant programs in order to more fully expedite the building of more affordable housing?

 

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    Metro Vancouver Housing provides safe and affordable rental homes to more than 9,000 people on 49 sites across the region. Many of these housing sites were built with the help of previous federal government funding programs.

    The current Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) programming, under the National Housing Strategy, prioritizes low-interest loans over grants for affordable housing. While these loans are important for financing projects, they force housing providers to allocate revenue to repay loans instead of investing in new affordable housing

    Grants would reduce the risk taken on by housing providers and would let them provide more affordable housing at a much faster pace—something desperately needed in the Metro Vancouver region if we are to address housing affordability.

    Without an expedited building of affordable units in Metro Vancouver the prosperity, economy and livability will be severely impacted.

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    Response not yet received.

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    Our government has been investing in housing that puts people first, helps build stronger communities, creates jobs, and supports the local economy. We launched Canada’s very first National Housing Strategy – a once-in-a-generation $55 billion investment to fight homelessness and improve access to housing across the country. We remain committed to this historic investment in affordable housing.

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    Yes, the National Housing Strategy’s focus on loans rather than grants needs to be reversed. Our federal investment will begin with $5 billion in additional funding in the first year and a half of a New Democrat government.

  • If elected, Green MPs will:

    • Appoint a Minister of Housing to strengthen the National Housing Strategy so that it meets the needs for affordable housing that are unique to each province, and oversee its implementation in collaboration with provincial ministers. This recognizes that housing is provincial jurisdiction. The target would be 25,000 new and 15,000 rehabilitated units annually for the next 10 years.
    • Increase the National Housing Co-investment Fund by $750 million for new builds, and the Canada Housing Benefit by $750 million for rent assistance for 125,000 households.
    • Include new and existing housing as eligible infrastructure for funding purposes, allowing the Canada Infrastructure Bank to support provincial and municipal housing projects.
    • Provide financing to non-profit housing organizations and cooperatives to build and restore quality, energy efficient housing for seniors, people with special needs and low-income families.
    • Restore tax incentives for building purpose-built rental housing and provide tax credits for gifts of lands, or of land and buildings, to community land trusts to provide affordable housing.
    • Create a Canada Co-op Housing Strategy that would update the mechanisms for financing co-op housing, in partnership with CMHC, co-op societies, credit unions and other lenders.
    • Re-focus the core mandate of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporate (CMHC) on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, as opposed to its current priority of supporting Canadian lenders to de-risk investment in housing ownership. With many housing markets demonstrably overvalued, and home ownership rates among the highest in the world, individual home ownership should not be the preoccupation of a public service housing agency and a national housing strategy.