CFAA welcomes today’s announcement of the Canada-Ontario agreement to implement the new Canada Housing Benefit in Ontario. The new Housing Benefit will provide funding directly to households who need help to meet the cost of housing in their communities.
Across Canada, the Canada Housing Benefit is being rolled out under 13 separate agreements, one with each province and territory. CFAA has long advocated an expanded use of portable housing benefits. Among the advantages of housing benefits is the flexibility they provide for governments to respond to different housing situations and different funding envelopes.
At today’s announcement, the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for CMHC, said, “The Canada Housing Benefit is a key pillar of the National Housing Strategy that will help families across Canada. Together, we will build strong communities where Canadians can prosper and thrive, now and for the future.” CFAA is proud of the major role we played in achieving the inclusion of housing benefits in the National Housing Strategy.
In Ontario, the program will give priority to households and people who are on, or eligible to be on, a social housing waiting list. That will include survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Indigenous persons, seniors and people with disabilities.
Another priority group will be households who are living in market rent (i.e. unsubsidized) units within community housing, and those who need to rent in the private market temporarily while their homes are retrofitted or renovated.
At today’s announcement, the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for Ontario, said, “The new Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit will give more options to people who are looking for housing that meets their needs and their budgets.” CFAA has long advocated an expanded use of portable housing benefits because of the choice and autonomy which housing benefits provide to low-income renters.
Making more housing benefits available to those in the private rental market will make the housing support system fairer, since it will assist households who currently receive little or no support, while those in rent-geared-to-income units in community housing often receive a great deal of support.
CFAA President John Dickie says, “CFAA urges governments across Canada to implement the Canada Housing Benefit, and to increase the funding for the programs in all geographic areas. CFAA also encourages the use of the new benefit in the private rental market, with a focus on the people who need the housing help the most because they have the largest affordability gap.”
For more information, contact:
John Dickie, President, CFAA (613) 235-0101, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.