Federal Government working with Habitat to bring affordable housing to Canadians

photo credit: festivio/pixabay.com

The Federal Government recently announced a number of initiatives to help bring affordable homes to Canadians. Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga recognizes the importance of these decisions and believes that Canada should have access to safe and decent homes for everyone. Canada’s first National Housing Strategy has taken steps so far, such as releasing details regarding the National Housing Co-investment Fund and establishing a bilateral affordable housing agreement with Ontario. These announcements are encouraging for organizations like Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga to help bring more homes to Ontario. These new government investments will help the Greater Toronto Area, including Mississauga, Oakville, and Burlington, become more affordable and livable for generations.

Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga was directly involved in roundtable talks related to the National Housing Strategy, ensuring that our voices were heard by the Federal Government. We advocated for creating more sustainable and affordable housing options that will benefit Canada in the long-term. Habitat for Humanity Canada also took part in the process and has endorsed the new funding that will be invested in affordable housing.

National Housing Co-investment Fund

The Co-investment Fund will provide developers across Canada with $4.5 billion in subsidies, $8.6 billion in loans, and provide $200 million worth of lands for housing usage. This ten-year plan is set to create 60,000 new affordable housing units while funding the repairs on older homes. An emphasis was placed on the housing needs of seniors, victims of family violence and people with disabilities. These goals are aligned with Habitat’s values towards affordable housing, and how we can improve the community and help people out of precarious living situations.

Habitat is directly affected by this development through programs and updates to our model. We will be able to partner with the government to bring even more affordable homes to the community. We have several housing projects coming through the property pipeline in the next few years, including 18 homes development on Queensway Drive in Burlington and four homes in Mississauga. These projects will use our new differed ownership model, ensuring they remain affordable for generations. Habitat can work with government partners to keep our developments below market value. We are excited to continue building homes for Halton and Peel Region with assistance from government funding.

Habitat Halton-Mississauga is also launching its new Handyman Program soon, which will send professional trades workers and trained volunteers to repair homes of people in need. This program will provide a discounted home repair service that will help low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities fix up their homes at an affordable price. With government funding, we will be able to reach more households, and help more people who need a hand-up.

Finally, Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga has changed our definition of what can be considered a family. Habitat now gives homes to people in need of housing, no matter their situation. This can include traditional families, single-parent families, elderly couples, and people with disabilities. We are happy to show our commitment to providing support to all kinds of families through our Acton build project, which will be giving a new home to several people on the autism spectrum and their caretakers. This project will allow these men to live on their own, while still being supported by the community and their local Habitat for Humanity. The National Co-investment Fund will help to amplify Habitat’s efforts, so that we may help more people through our partnership with the government.

New National-Provincial Bilateral Agreement

The Federal Government also announced that they have reached a bilateral agreement with Ontario regarding the National Housing Strategy. It is important to us at Habitat for Humanity Canada for the different levels of government to work together towards a common goal of making affordable housing attainable for lower-income families. Coming to an agreement demonstrates that our governments are considering housing a priority and both actively working to fund more affordable options for hard-working families, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Through this new agreement, Ontario will receive a $4.2 billion for affordable housing and an additional $2.4 billion for social housing over the next ten years. The funding that Ontario receives from the new bilateral agreement will be matched and used for developments in a three-year plan beginning in 2019. Habitat believes that these funds will be helpful to establish homes, but the Ontario should consult stakeholders such as Habitat for Humanity Canada and Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga for ways they can use this investment to create a long-lasting impact in the Ontario housing market and continue to make homes affordable in Ontario for generations.

Despite our partners in government, Habitat for Humanity relies on the generosity of the community in order to build more houses for hardworking families in need. Follow this link to find out how you can help Habitat make our community a better place to live.