Home Media News Releases 2017 Food Banks Canada welcomes the new federal National Housing Strategy

Food Banks Canada welcomes the new federal National Housing Strategy

Yesterday, the federal government released its long-awaited National Housing Strategy to the applause of many housing advocates across the country.

Food banks have long identified the shortage of affordable housing as a driving cause of the need for their services. Food Banks Canada has been steadfast in its advocacy efforts to push the federal government into a leadership role on this issue, and the new strategy is a welcome step in that direction.

As part of the new housing strategy, the federal government has committed to investing $20 billion over the next twelve years. Provincial and territorial governments will be required to match this investment for funds to be allotted, adding to a total of $40 billion over the period of the strategy.  The federal government has set a target of removing 530,000 households from ‘core housing need’ and reducing the amount of chronically homeless people by half by 2030.

Highlights of the strategy include:
  • A new National Housing Co-Investment Fund of $15.9 billion, made up of $4.7 billion in financial contributions and $11.2 billion in low-interest loans, to help with the construction of new affordable housing and the retrofit and repair of existing social housing.
  • $4.3 billion for a new Canada Community Housing Initiative, to help provinces and territories build and restore social housing targeted to low-income households.
  • $2.2 billion for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, a long-standing federal program that has most recently supported ‘Housing First’ programs across the country.
  • $2 billion (with the expectation of an additional $2 billion from provincial and territorial governments) for a new Canada Housing Benefit, a direct cash rent support expected to reach  300,000 households.
The federal government’s announcement is the beginning of a new era in federal support for affordable housing. It increases investment in this area, and directly addresses some of the most difficult issues related to housing for low-income Canadian households. Importantly, it will also be enshrined in legislation.

There is much more work to be done to develop the federal government’s preliminary plans. Food Banks Canada will continue to analyse the information released yesterday, and will regularly update the food bank network on this important initiative.

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)