When Budget 2017 was released yesterday, one of the progressive components I was proud to see was our re-commitment to housing. As your representative, I have been proud to advocate for affordable housing and homelessness strategies for our neighbourhoods here in Parkdale-High Park, and it was gratifying to see that advocacy come to fruition in the form of a historic $11 Billion commitment to housing through the new National Housing Strategy.
To recap, Budget 2016 invested $2.3 billion over two years on top of the base $1.7 billion given annually for affordable housing until March 2018. Since then, we have heard from residents across the country about the need for more intervention from the Government. We heard those concerns, and with Budget 2017 we moved forward with the National Housing Strategy. Fully $11 billion will help to address housing needs – that means access to more affordable housing for residents in Parkdale-High Park.
The National Housing Strategy renews federal leadership in housing and will have an integrated approach to address the entire continuum of housing challenges across the country. The $11 billion will include:
- $5 billion for the National Housing Fund run by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
- The new National Housing Fund addresses critical housing issues and prioritizes support for vulnerable citizens, including: seniors; Indigenous Peoples; survivors fleeing situations of domestic violence; persons with disabilities; those dealing with mental health and addiction issues; and veterans.
- $3.2 billion for renewed federal and provincial partnership on affordable housing. This new deal will replace the existing Investment in Affordable Housing initiative, which is set to expire at the end of 2018-19. The new partnership has key priorities, including:
- Constructing new housing units;
- Renovation and repair of existing housing;
- Rent subsidies;
- Other initiatives to enhance housing affordability, and;
- Support for safe, independent living for Canada’s seniors, persons with disabilities and other individuals requiring accessibility modifications.
- $2.1 billion to expand and extend the Homelessness Partnering Strategy beyond 2018-19
- $300 million for the construction of housing in the north, and support for Territories’ governments to improve housing conditions
- These investments will help approximately 3,000 northern families find adequate, suitable and affordable housing
- $241 million for the CMHC to improve data collection and analytics to advise our strategies and policy decisions
- $225 million for housing providers who serve Indigenous peoples not living on reserves
- The funding will go to needed repairs, ensuring continued affordability, and new housing development
- The Government will develop and administer the program in collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Metis partners
- $202 million to make federal lands available for affordable housing developments
I am personally committed to continue to work with our community to address affordable housing. This coming Wednesday, March 29 I will be hosting a Housing Town Hall at the May Robinson Auditorium at 20 West Lodge Ave from 7 – 9 p.m. Join me and my special guest Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary for Housing, to discuss the National Housing Strategy and affordable housing in Toronto. Register here: AVirani.liberal.ca/events/#65756
Stay tuned for my Budget 2017 series every day, Monday – Friday, for more information on the key issues that matter to Parkdale-High Park!
“The social housing spending of course is very much appreciated in big cities and small cities across this country. Municipalities of course have been asking for help and they’re going to get some relief and I think this a very good thing for many families who are struggling to try to pay the rent or find social housing and we’re quite pleased with that.”
– Hassan Yussuf, President, Canadian Labour Congress
Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale-High Park
Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism