The Federal Budget 2006 provided for the establishment of housing trust funds
with provinces and territories to invest in affordable housing: an affordable housing trust of $800 million; a Northern housing trust of $300 million; and a trust for off-reserve Aboriginal housing of $300 million.
The investment of $1 billion by the Government of Canada under the Affordable
Housing Initiative (AHI), is being matched by provincial and territorial governments and third parties. Provinces and territories have the flexibility to design and deliver programs that are best
suited to their affordable housing needs, including for example, the housing needs of seniors, individuals, and families with children.
The Government of Canada provides some $1.7 billion per year to support
approximately 626,000 lower-income households in existing social housing, including for
example, many single and two-parent families with children.
In December 2006, the Government of Canada announced $526 million over two
years for housing and homelessness programs. This includes an investment of $270 million over two years for the new Homelessness Partnering Strategy aimed at combating homelessness in communities across Canada. The announcement also includes an investment of $256 million for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) renovation assistance programs for low- income households. These renovation programs will help improve the living conditions for some
38,000 low-income people including persons with disabilities, women and children who are victims of family violence, Aboriginal people and their families, and seniors.
Building on the initiatives noted above, on September 4, 2008, the Government of
Canada set aside funding for housing and homelessness programs at $387.9 million per year for
five years to March 31, 2014.
In addition to providing an increase in affordable housing units and providing resources for
those encountering difficulties in meeting their basic housing needs through financial support, provinces and territories are assisting low-income households who currently own homes that are
in sub-standard condition, to have access to funds that will assist with the cost of repairs and enhancements.
Under the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities, the
Government of Canada offers financial help to homeowners and landlords to undertake work to
improve the accessibility of dwellings to meet the special needs of disabled persons. In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, funds are available to homeowners for the purpose of adapting homes to the needs of persons with disabilities and for minor adaptations for seniors in order to facilitate independent living and modifications to accommodate an ageing parent.
Aboriginal housing remains a priority for the Government of Canada, which provides help
to address housing needs on reserve. This supports housing construction of approximately 2,300 new homes and renovation of some 3,300 existing houses, as well as ongoing subsidies for some 27,000 rental units for Aboriginal people and their families. In April 2007, the Government of Canada announced the creation of a First Nations Market Housing Fund that will help provide for up to 25,000 housing units on-reserve over 10 years. This is a first step in fundamentally transforming the housing system on-reserve. The objective is to move away from a housing system that depends almost entirely on government subsidies to one that provides First Nation people with the same housing opportunities and responsibilities as other Canadians. Off-reserve,