This summer, the CAF will see a change to how we are supporting our military members when it comes to cost of living and housing in Canada. On July 1, the long-awaited replacement for PLD will come into effect. The new policy is called the Canadian Forces Housing Differential, or CFHD.
The aim of CFHD is to ensure that CAF members who are renting or purchasing primary residences on the economy will only pay 25% of their gross monthly salary towards their housing costs. This is accomplished through a more sophisticated policy instrument that accounts for Canada’s widely diverse housing market, using rental comparator values. This value is determined annually by pulling data from multiple independent sources. CFHD rates will therefore vary based on location and salary.
The CFHD focuses solely on housing costs, unlike PLD which was designed to account for many living expenses and then compared those to the cost of living in Ottawa. This model was no longer providing the assistance to members who actually needed it. CFHD considers the diverse intersectional identities of our members when determining Housing Differential monthly rates, which will now be based on a small handful of very specific factors: a CAF member’s salary, whether they share their primary residence with one or more CAF members, and their place of duty as opposed to the location of their residence.
It is crucial to understand that CFHD prioritizes those who require assistance the most in order that all CAF members are able to afford housing, regardless of where they are posted.
Correspondingly, not all CAF members will be entitled to CFHD.
We recognize that the replacement of PLD with CFHD may take some time to adjust to, both mentally and financially. Given the implications on your personal circumstances, it is important for you to also note that the CAF will also see an economic increase – or pay raise – which you will see on your mid-July pay. This economic increase is retroactive to April 1st, 2021 and will also include an increase up to March 2025. Critically, this imminent economic increase will assist you in covering the expenses of your cost of living in Canada apart from housing in some locations.
I encourage you to learn more about both upcoming changes by reading the CFHD and Economic Increase CANFORGENs, the relevant Compensation and Benefits Instructions and additional internal resources including Maple Leaf articles. You can also speak with your Orderly Room support staff.
The policies that we continue to develop, maintain and revise exist to ensure that you as CAF members are well positioned to serve Canada, knowing that your needs on the home front are appropriately supported. Both the new CFHD and Economic Increase, rooted in our wider Reconstitution efforts, will assist us in intelligently prioritizing and empowering you – the core of our great institution.