On November 9, 2022, CHRA (Canadian Housing and Renewal Association) hosted a webinar which focused on CMHC Updates: Budget 2022 Housing Initiatives. CMHC staffs from policy development, programs, and research joined the webinar and presented about initiatives driven by Federal Budget 2022 with the goal of building more homes and making housing more affordable across the country.
There were three presentations during the session and a Q&A afterward.
The first presentation of the session included a number of slides on the budget initiatives updates. A recap of the first presentation is provided below:
The 2022 Federal budget saw a number of measures announced with the goal of building more homes and making housing more affordable across the country.
CMHC initiatives driven by budget 2022:
Supporting those people most in need, including Indigenous people
One-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit
Budget 2022 announced $475 million in 2022-23 for a one-time $500 payment to those facing housing affordability challenges.
Funding was increased to $1.2 billion following the Budget announcement to support 1.8 million renters.
To be directly delivered by the federal government. It complements Canada Housing Benefits but does not directly go necessarily to recipients of the Canada Housing Benefit in that regard, however, it could depend on somebody’s situation.
There is an income threshold: for families, there is a requirement of $35,000 of income or below. For individuals: it is $20,000 of annual income.
Timeline: Applications for the one-time-top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit opened on December 12, 2022. More details can be found here.
$200 million in dedicated support under the renewed Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to help develop and scale up rent-to-own projects across Canada. The Affordable Housing Innovation Fund supports new ideas that will drive change and disrupt the industry – ideas and approaches that will evolve the affordable housing sector and create the next generation of housing in Canada.
To support non-profits, co-ops, developers, and rent-to-own companies building new rent-to-own units. The Rent-to-Own stream of the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund is for housing providers interested in developing, testing and scaling innovative rent-to-own models and projects.
Canada Greener Affordable Housing
Provide low-interest loans and grants to non-profit and co-op housing providers as part of the low-income stream of the Canada Greener Homes Loan
Budget 2022 announced $458.5 million in contributions, in addition to loans, for non-profits and co-ops to undertake retrofits.
Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI)
Reform RCFI by strengthening its affordability and energy efficiency requirements. At least 40% of units to have rents at or below 80% of average market rent.
Developers who significantly exceed these requirements and build highly affordable and energy efficient units would be eligible to have a portion of their repayable loans converted to nonrepayable loans.
Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF)
$4 billion over five years with a target of 100,000 net new housing units.
Funding to support local governments to implement reforms that address systematic barriers and increase the supply of housing.
The second presentation was about a program that is part of NHS called the housing supply challenge. A summary of presentation is as follows:
National Housing Strategy Opportunities
Housing Supply Challenge
The housing supply challenge started in 2020-21 will provide up to $300 million in funding under a series of unique challenges on different topics over a five-year period.
There are 5 rounds and it is currently in the 4th round which is focusing on the innovations in construction of new units, as well as the preservation of older units. An upcoming round is anticipated that will focus more on scaling solutions.
Challenge round and structure timeline:
Concept development phase: a four-month period up to April 13, 2023 for applicants to work on their applications to the program.
Design and Feasibility phase: this is an evaluation phase that there will be a shortlist of group of applicants who have additional time to figure out their design, feasibility, and planning for implementation. This will take 5 months.
Implementation phase: the applicants selected for funding will receive the money to implement their solutions.
Application form opens online at: Impact.canada.ca on December 1st at 2 pm EST. The application deadline is till April 13, 2023 at 2 pm EST.
Cahdco Toolbox which is a two-tiered program to coach and mentor housing organizations to increase their development capacity and encourage housing providers to create their own development corporation is a CMHC Housing Supply Challenge funded initiative. If you are interested in reading more about the “Toolbox”, please read our previous blog posts in the links below:
The final presentation was about the longitudinal housing outcomes research program that was recently launched. The program emerged out of a growing realization that longitudinal housing research has yielded deep, nuanced information, data results historically and internationally.
National Housing Strategy Longitudinal Outcomes Research
The purpose of the research is to conduct research on the impact of federal housing, investments on health, the environment, and socio-economic outcomes both at the household and community level.
$5 million over the course of five years to design and put into place longitudinal research on housing outcomes.
The research opportunity launched on August 9, 2022.
Deadline for submission was in November 22, 2022.
The adjudication process will begin after submission deadline ends to select teams who will be funded.
How you fit in this initiative?
If you are interested in participating as part of research team
If a research team approaches you as to partner and participate in the research.
If you are interested in knowledge output, there will be an arrangement for ongoing series of knowledge mobilization events.
That was a recap of what I heard at webinar. The webinar allowed CMCH staffs giving some updates and hearing any feedback, questions that were coming from attendees who were closer to the ground serving the communities.
The webinar wrapped up with answering some of the questions from attendees.
Personally, I found so much value in knowledge exchanges. I look forward to the future events, webinars to share more conversations and exchanges.
Stay tuned for my next blog about service manager agreement that is a hot topic these days.