Budget 2021 investments will create more affordable housing for Canadians  

News release

April 26, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada

Budget 2021 is a plan to finish the fight against COVID-19, create jobs, and ensure a robust economic recovery that brings all Canadians along.

The government’s plan will invest $2.5 billion, and reallocate $1.3 billion, to speed up the construction, repair, or support of 35,000 affordable housing units across the country. The investments will particularly help young people, low-income Canadians, people experiencing homelessness, and women and children fleeing violence find a safe and affordable place to call home.

The proposed new investments include $1.5 billion in 2021-22 for the Rapid Housing Initiative, which supports the construction of new affordable housing units to meet the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians. The new funding also includes $600 million to renew and expand the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to encourage new funding models and innovative building techniques in the affordable housing sector. Budget 2021 also lays out a plan to convert the empty office space that has appeared in downtowns into housing for Canadians by reallocating $300 million from the Rental Construction Financing Initiative.

Budget 2021 also lays out a plan to invest in building and refurbishing housing units in the North, knowing that access to safe and sustainable housing can be particularly challenging in the North.

To ensure houses in Canada are affordable and available to Canadian families, Budget 2021 announced the government’s intention to implement a national, annual one-percent tax on the value of non-resident, non-Canadian owned residential real estate that is considered to be vacant or underused, effective January 1, 2022. 

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $2.5 billion over seven years to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, including:

    • An additional $1.5 billion for the Rapid Housing Initiative to address the urgent housing needs of vulnerable Canadians by providing them with adequate affordable housing in short order. At least 25 per cent of this funding would go towards women-focused housing projects. Overall, this new funding will add a minimum of 4,500 new affordable units to Canada's housing supply, building on the 4,700 units already funded in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement through its $1 billion investment.
    • $600 million over seven years to renew and expand the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund. To date, this program has committed funding to support the creation of over 17,600 units, including more than 16,300 affordable housing units and units for persons with accessibility challenges. This new funding would support the creation of up to 12,700 more units.
    • $315.4 million over seven years through the Canada Housing Benefit, to increase direct financial assistance for low-income women and children fleeing violence to help with their rent payments.
    • $118.2 million over seven years through the Federal Community Housing Initiative, to support community housing providers that deliver long-term housing to many of our most vulnerable.
  • The government also recognizes that access to safe and sustainable housing can be particularly challenging in the North.

    • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $25 million to the Government of the Northwest Territories to address housing priorities. Funding will support the construction of 30 new public housing units across the Territory.
    • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $25 million to the Government of Nunavut to support the Territory's short-term housing and infrastructure needs including priority redevelopment and refurbishment projects resulting in approximately 100 new housing units.
  • COVID-19 has exacerbated many of the hardships faced by Canadians experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. Through the pandemic the government has more than doubled funding for Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy, and the government is now focused on entirely eliminating chronic homelessness in Canada.

    • Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $567 million over two years for Reaching Home.
    • Budget 2021 also proposes to provide $45 million over two years, for a pilot program aimed at reducing veteran homelessness through the provision of rent supplements, and wrap-around services for homeless veterans such as counselling, addiction treatment, and help finding a job.

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Contacts

Media may contact:

Katherine Cuplinskas
Press Secretary
Deputy Prime Minister's Office
Katherine.Cuplinskas@dpmo-cvpm.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada
fin.media-media.fin@canada.ca
613-369-4000

General enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230
E-mail: fin.financepublic-financepublique.fin@canada.ca

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