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An update on Canada’s National Housing Strategy

Summary:
Steve Pomeroy, arguably Canada’s top affordable housing policy expert, has written a status update on Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS). His overview includes some great background material on Canadian housing policy generally. Points raised in his analysis include the following: -The Trudeau government’s much-anticipated NHS was unveiled in November 2017. -In most provinces and territories, federal funding accounts for less than 10% of homelessness funding. Provincial, territorial and municipal orders of government fund most of the rest. Yet, just 5% of new funding under the NHS has been earmarked towards the Trudeau government’s goal of reducing chronic homelessness by half. -Our federal government is good at funding/financing affordable housing; provincial/territorial

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Steve Pomeroy, arguably Canada’s top affordable housing policy expert, has written a status update on Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS). His overview includes some great background material on Canadian housing policy generally.

Points raised in his analysis include the following:

-The Trudeau government’s much-anticipated NHS was unveiled in November 2017.

-In most provinces and territories, federal funding accounts for less than 10% of homelessness funding. Provincial, territorial and municipal orders of government fund most of the rest. Yet, just 5% of new funding under the NHS has been earmarked towards the Trudeau government’s goal of reducing chronic homelessness by half.

-Our federal government is good at funding/financing affordable housing; provincial/territorial governments, by contrast, are good at housing program design and implementation. Each should stick to what it’s good at (ergo: the federal government should let provincial and territorial governments lead when it comes to program design/implementation). Sadly, history suggests that federal officials will be reluctant to treat provincial/territorial governments as equal partners during the implementation of the NHS.

-Canada’s federal government does a very poor job of enumerating new social (i.e., non-profit) housing builds.

-Steve thinks it’s a mistake for the federal government to require provincial/territorial cost-matching for the Canada Housing Benefit (which is an important component of the NHS); though he’s not suggesting provincial and territorial governments get a ‘free ride’ on it either.

-Non-profit housing providers across Canada have been having trouble accessing funding currently available under the NHS.

Enjoy and share:

Nick Falvo
Director of Research & Data, Calgary Homeless Foundation. Economist. Research Associate, Carleton University Centre for Community Innovation. Tweets are my own.

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