Deputy Prime Minister announces over $162 million to support asylum claimants and low-income renters in Toronto
February 2, 2024 - Toronto, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada
Today, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, announced that the federal government will provide over $162 million in additional support to the City of Toronto.
First, the federal government will provide an additional $143 million for Toronto through the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) to reimburse costs incurred by the city in 2023 and the first quarter of 2024. This additional funding will help the city to shelter the vulnerable asylum claimants it welcomes, who come to Canada seeking protection from violence, war, and persecution. Today’s funding is part of the $362.4 million national IHAP top-up announced on January 31, 2024, and is in addition to the $97 million top-up announced for Toronto in July 2023, bringing Toronto’s total federal funding through IHAP to $240 million this fiscal year.
Second, the federal government will deliver a $19.75 million top-up to the City of Toronto’s share of the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit. This benefit provides direct financial support to low-income renters to help them cover the cost of rent. To support low-income renters across Canada, the government will soon announce details on a national top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit.
With today’s investments, the City of Toronto is expected to receive $1.65 billion in federal funding in 2023-24—an increase of over 700 per cent since 2015-16, when Toronto received just $205 million.
The federal government is taking bold action and working with all orders of government to advance its economic plan to build an economy that works for everyone. This includes making sure everybody, including newcomers and low-income renters in Toronto, has a safe and affordable place to call home.
“Our government is delivering for Torontonians, including those who need it most. This very much includes supporting our most vulnerable neighbours who have come to Canada fleeing violence and persecution. And it means supporting renters who are struggling with the rising cost of rent. Today’s investments build on our government’s track record of being the City of Toronto’s greatest partner—and we’re working with every order of government to deliver for Canadians.”
– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
“We recognize the significant efforts and tireless work that the City of Toronto has done to support asylum claimants by providing temporary housing and services. They are essential partners in helping us respond to the rising number of asylum claims and supporting the needs of those fleeing persecution, oppression and conflict. We will continue to be there to support those vulnerable individuals – and work with our municipal colleagues to see how we can best support them.”
– The Honourable Marc Miller,
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“We’re building more homes, faster, right here in Toronto. Today’s investments will help us meet the urgent housing needs of asylum seekers and low-income renters alike. We’ll keep working hard for everyone who calls our city home.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen,
Minister of International Development
Since 2017, the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) has provided funding to provincial and municipal governments on a cost-sharing basis to address extraordinary interim housing pressures resulting from increased volumes of asylum claimants.
- On July 18, 2023, the federal government announced a $212 million renewal of the Interim Housing Assistance Program for 2023-24, which included up to $97 million for the City of Toronto.
- Today’s IHAP funding is part of the $362.4 million national IHAP top-up announced on January 31, 2024.
The Canada Housing Benefit was co-developed with provinces and territories and launched in 2020 with joint funding of $4 billion over eight years to provide direct financial support to Canadians who are experiencing housing need. This benefit helps low-income Canadians with the cost of housing in the form of direct payments or rent support.
On December 21, 2023, the federal government announced a $471 million Housing Accelerator Fund agreement with the City of Toronto, which will fast-track the construction of nearly 12,000 new homes over the next three years, and spur the construction of more than 53,000 new homes over the next decade.
Canada’s economic plan, including recent investments in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, is building more homes, faster, and making housing more affordable for Canadians. This plan includes:
- The Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, which removed the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on new rental housing;
- Over $40 billion through the Apartment Construction Loan Program, which is providing low-cost financing to support more than 101,000 new rental homes across Canada by 2031-32;
- Over $14 billion through the Affordable Housing Fund to build 60,000 new affordable homes and repair 240,000 homes;
- The $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund, which is incentivizing municipalities to make transformative changes by removing zoning barriers and ramping up housing construction. The Housing Accelerator Fund is already fast-tracking the construction of at least 100,000 homes over the next three years, and more than 500,000 homes across Canada over the next decade;
- $4 billion through the Rapid Housing Initiative, which is expected to help build more than 15,500 affordable homes for people experiencing homelessness or in severe housing need;
- Over $200 million through the Federal Lands Initiative to build 4,500 new homes by repurposing surplus federal lands and buildings to housing providers at low or no cost;
- Unlocking $20 billion in new financing to build 30,000 more rental apartments per year by increasing the annual limit for Canada Mortgage Bonds from $40 billion to up to $60 billion;
- The Canadian Mortgage Charter, which details the tailored mortgage relief that the government expects banks to provide borrowers who are facing financial difficulty with the mortgage on their principal residence;
- The new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account, which is a registered savings account that allows Canadians to contribute up to $8,000 per year (up to a lifetime limit of $40,000) for their first down payment; and,
- Allocating nearly $4 billion towards the government’s goal of ending chronic homelessness, through Reaching Home, Canada’s Homelessness Strategy.
Media may contact:
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada
Bahoz Dara Aziz
Office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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