Mr. Speaker, the government of Canada has a multi-pronged housing approach to facilitate access to housing. This approach has made significant contributions to the creation of an efficient housing industry; an effective system of building standards; a well-functioning housing finance system; and support for those with housing needs.
Canada’s economic action plan is strengthening Canada’s economy with a one-time investment of more than $2 billion over two years to build new, and repair existing social housing. This funding includes: $1 billion to support much needed repairs to social housing--$850 million to be cost-shared with provinces and territories, and $150 million to address needs of existing social housing which Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation administers--;$600 million for new housing and repairs to existing housing on-reserve and in the north--$400 million for on-reserve and $200 million for the north;$400 million to build more housing for seniors; and,$75 million for new housing for people with disabilities.
In response to (a), in 2009-10, it is estimated that federal housing related expenditures through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will be $3.1 billion. This excludes housing related investments by other federal agencies and departments.
Annually, the Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, invests an estimated $1.7 billion in support of almost 625,000 social housing units across Canada. These social housing units were committed under long-term agreements under various programs.
The Government of Canada has committed to a $1 billion investment in housing through the affordable housing initiative. Under the initiative, the federal government, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, provides contributions to increase the supply of affordable housing, in partnership with the provinces and territories. Under bilateral agreements, the provinces and territories cost match the federal investment. Some $935 million has been committed or announced under the affordable housing initiative as of March 31, 2009, for the provision of over 42,300 units across Canada.
On September 4, 2008, the Government of Canada approved funding for housing and homelessness programs at $387.9 million per year for five years to March 31, 2014. As part of this commitment, funding for the affordable housing initiative, the renovation programs including the residential rehabilitation assistance program, and the homelessness partnering strategy were renewed at current levels for two years, to March 31, 2011. For 2009-10, this extension represents additional funding of $125 million for the affordable housing initiative and $128.1 million for the renovation programs.
Canada’s economic action plan builds on this with an investment of more than $2 billion over two years to build new, and renovate existing social housing. For 2009-10, this represents an additional investment in housing by the federal government of more than $1 billion on affordable housing.
In response to (b), of the $1.7 billion invested annually by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in support of almost 625,000 social housing units, approximately one-third of these units are occupied by seniors.
Through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s suite of renovation programs, seniors will have access to funding in 2009-10 under programs such as the residential rehabilitation assistance program and home adaptations for seniors independence, HASI. Note HASI is specifically targeted to seniors. It is estimated that financial assistance of approximately $32 million will be provided to seniors in 2009-10 under the renovation programs.
As noted above, the Government of Canada has also committed to a $1 billion investment in housing through the affordable housing initiative. Approximately 25% of the funding was directed to housing for seniors. I
In addition, Canada’s economic action plan includes $400 million over two years for affordable housing specifically targeted for seniors. In 2009-10, this represents a federal commitment of $200 million towards new affordable housing for low-income seniors who will also benefit from other mainstream affordable housing programs. The $1 billion under Canada’s economic action plan allocated for the renovation and retrofit of existing social housing will benefit the current residents of this housing. As one-third of the existing housing is estimated to serve seniors, it is estimated that in the order of one-third of the new renovation funding will also benefit seniors.
In response to (c), existing agreements between Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and provinces and territories are being amended to implement both the September 2008 federal government decision to renew for two years the existing affordable housing initiative and renovation programs, to March 31, 2011, as well as a significant component of the economic stimulus measures announced under Canada’s economic action plan.
In response to (d), the Government of Canada is committed to helping all Canadians find safe, adequate, and affordable housing through recent investments of close to $2 billion over five years towards housing and homelessness programs as well as more than $2 billion over the next two years toward building new or repairing existing social housing through Canada’s economic action plan.