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CHBA seeks innovation in Canada’s National Housing Strategy

CHBA seeks innovation in Canada’s National Housing Strategy

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) released its formal submission to the federal government’s National Housing Strategy consultation process last week. The CHBA brief, “Toward a Comprehensive, Sustainable National Housing Strategy,” covers the full housing continuum and includes a wide range of recommendations for improving housing access and affordability for all Canadians. This overarching brief follows a companion submission by CHBA earlier that focused specifically on Housing Markets and Affordability.

The federal government committed to the development of a National Housing Strategy to co-ordinate housing policy initiatives and more effectively address a full spectrum of needs, from people who are homeless to those who rent from the private market or own their own home. CHBA has been actively engaged in the consultation sessions over recent months.

“Development of a national strategy on housing represents a tremendous opportunity to harness both public and private sector resources to ensure Canadians remain among the best-housed people in the world,” said Kevin Lee, CHBA CEO. “To succeed, we will need extensive collaboration between governments, NGOs, and the private sector, and new and innovative approaches.

“CHBA believes the strategy must address the housing needs of all Canadians and support all types of housing tenure, from support for those in housing need, to improved housing affordability for the 94 per cent of Canadians who rely on market-based housing.”

The CHBA report lays out a range of recommendations that focus on the full “housing continuum” — for improving the effectiveness of social housing initiatives, boosting the supply of new market-based rental housing, and improving housing affordability for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

“It is important that the National Housing Strategy cover the full spectrum of housing from social housing through to affordability in market-based housing,” Lee said. “With homes in our largest and most economically vibrant cities now often beyond the financial reach of middle-class Canadians, not addressing affordability in the broadest sense will simply result in increasing demand for assisted housing. This pattern can be avoided if all the players work together and innovate – government has an important role in this.

“That is why we are urging the federal government to adopt approaches that will benefit all Canadians – those who need assistance and the vast majority of Canadians who aspire to market-based housing that they can afford.

“With the federal government investing significantly in social housing, infrastructure and transit, and the other policy measures at its disposal, there is a huge opportunity to ‘get it right’ when it comes to housing for all Canadians,” Lee concluded.

The CHBA report has been submitted to the “Let’s Talk Housing” National Housing Strategy consultation and to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos.

The CHBA is the voice of Canada’s residential construction industry. The industry is a vital part of Canada’s economy in every community across the country. It directly and indirectly support more than one million jobs, paying more than $58 billion in wages and generates $129 billion in annual economic activity, and provides over $30 billion in federal and provincial revenues each year.

Read the CHBA brief “Toward a Comprehensive, Sustainable National Housing Strategy” here.