Canada Housing Agency to Push for National Housing Strategy

Canada’s housing agency will begin a push for a national housing strategy to support affordable housing.

"This year, CMHC will work with other federal colleagues to undertake broad-based consultations on a national housing strategy," Evan Siddall, chief executive officer of Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp., the country’s national housing agency, said in the text of a speech in Whitehorse, Yukon. "This will include consultations with provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous and other communities, and key stakeholders. Our goal will be to develop a comprehensive national housing strategy to reduce housing need."

A national housing strategy would include enshrining housing as a right for citizens, according to groups that have been pushing for one in Canada. France passed legislation to this effect in 2007, as did Scotland and South Africa among other countries. Housing critics in Canada say that housing has become too expensive in major cities and remote communities, with a lack of affordable housing contributing to homelessness. The New Democratic Party attempted to pass bill C-400, or the Secure, Adequate, Accessible, and Affordable Housing Act to create a national housing strategy, but it was defeated in 2013.

Around 12.5 percent of Canadian households are in housing need, according to the national household survey by Statistics Canada, or one of every eight households, Siddall said in his speech. 

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