Minister Hussen covers housing in post-budget roundtable
Published April 21, 2021
In a post-budget roundtable on housing held Tuesday, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development discussed the government’s housing priorities, including several items specific to co-op housing.
The 40-minute session with the Minister was jointly hosted by CHF Canada, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association and the Canadian Lived Experience Leadership Network. Over 600 participants registered, including many co-op members, housing advocates and service providers.
Former CHF Canada President Nicole Waldron introduced the Q&A portion of the meeting, and current CHF Canada President Tina Stevens asked the Minister about federal support to build more co-op housing: “Very little co-op housing has been developed under the existing Co-Investment Fund,” she wrote, “So I’m seeking to understand how the budget commitments will better enable more co-op housing to be built.”
The Minister cited the renewed Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, which was announced in the budget, as an option to pursue co-op development. He also noted $118 million in the budget to expand the Federal Community Housing Initiative to provide rental assistance to previously excluded federally-administered co-op and non-profit housing providers.
The Minister also answered several questions and comments regarding the lack of a commitment in the budget for an Indigenous Housing Strategy. He explained that this is still pending recommendations from a Parliamentary committee that studied Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous housing.
In summary, Minister Hussen said that, taken together, Budget 2021 included “an additional $2.5 billion in different affordable housing related pockets of new money.” He said “we have come a long way, but we’re not there yet in terms of eliminating chronic homelessness.”
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