Federal, provincial and territorial ministers endorse new housing partnership framework

TORONTO, April 9, 2018 /CNW/ - Federal, provincial and territorial Ministers responsible for housing met today to endorse a multilateral Housing Partnership Framework* (Partnership), further advancing the National Housing Strategy (NHS), and setting the foundation for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together toward achieving a long-term shared vision for housing.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments are primary partners in housing and have a shared responsibility and complementary roles for housing.  This is why together, under the Partnership, the federal, provincial and territorial governments will work together to help make housing more affordable and accessible through the following initiatives: the Canada Housing Benefit, the Canada Community Housing Initiative, Provincial/Territorial Priority Funding, and funding for the northern territories. 

As part of the Partnership, Ministers responsible for housing agreed that governments will achieve better housing outcomes by sharing data and information that will make program development and delivery more effective, collaborating with diverse stakeholders and aligning housing policies and planning with other sectors to create effective housing solutions and vibrant communities. 

Provinces and territories will be invited to participate in federal programs designed to increase affordable housing supply, such as the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, by supporting decision-making and co-investing.

Quotes

"Today's endorsement of the Partnership marks a significant step forward to realizing the vision and bold outcomes of the National Housing Strategy. The Government of Canada, together with provincial and territorial governments, are investing more than $40 billion, to protect, repair and expand community housing for vulnerable Canadians, including urban indigenous people, women and girls.  Together we will make affordable housing more available, accessible and appropriate to help Canadians meet their needs." – The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

"With this Partnership we will build on the significant housing investments made by my provincial and territorial colleagues in our respective jurisdictions. Together, federal, provincial and territorial governments will continue to collaborate on solutions to housing issues across our country and help Canadians gain and maintain safe, affordable, and adequate housing." – The Honourable Pauline Frost, Minister of Health and Social Services, Minister of Environment, and Minister Responsible for Yukon Housing Corporation, Yukon Government

Quick Facts:

  • Announced on National Housing Day, November 22, 2017, the National Housing Strategy (NHS), is an ambitious 10-year, $40-billion plan that will remove 530,000 families from housing need and reduce chronic homelessness by 50%.
  • The NHS is built on strong partnership between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, regional Indigenous governments and organizations, national Indigenous organizations, the social and private sectors. This involves consultations with Canadians from all walks of life, including people with lived experience of housing need.
  • All NHS investments delivered by the federal, provincial and territorial governments will respect the key principles of the National Housing Strategy that support partnerships, people and communities. More information can be found in the National Housing Strategy.

*Québec stated that:
While it shares many of the objectives sought by other governments, Québec intends to fully exercise its own responsibilities and control over the planning, organization and management of housing on its territory to benefit Québec's population. Accordingly, Québec does not subscribe to the National Housing Strategy (NHS) and hopes to undertake as soon as possible discussions to reach an asymmetrical bilateral agreement, distinct from the NHS, which will fully respect Québec's exclusive responsibility in the area of housing and allows Québec to obtain its share of all federal funding dedicated to housing.

Related links:

FEDERAL/PROVINCIAL/TERRITORIAL (FPT) HOUSING PARTNERSHIP FRAMEWORK

Long-Term Vision for Housing

  • Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Housing agree to a shared vision where:

Canadians have housing that meets their needs and they can afford. Affordable housing is a cornerstone of sustainable and inclusive communities and a Canadian economy where we can prosper and thrive.

  • The FPT Housing Partnership Framework is a multilateral agreement that sets the foundation for federal, provincial and territorial governments to work towards achieving this long-term vision. The Framework is grounded in the National Housing Strategy (NHS) and is complemented by provincial and territorial housing strategies. It marks a renewed relationship between Canada and the provinces and territories1 and commits FPT governments to work together to achieve better housing solutions across the spectrum, from homelessness to market housing.
  • NHS shared investments seek to lift Canadians out of housing need; reduce homelessness year-over-year; support the community housing sector; increase housing supply; improve housing conditions and affordability — including for Indigenous peoples and those living in the North; promote social inclusion; contribute to environmental sustainability; and improve economic stability in Canada through job creation, training and support to local enterprise.
  • Ministers Responsible for Housing agree that better housing outcomes will be achieved as FPT governments: co-ordinate their efforts; cooperate in the development of housing policies and strategies; build upon existing housing investments and effective housing programs; and share data and information that will make program development and delivery more effective. Ministers further commit to collaborate with many diverse stakeholders and align housing policies and planning with other sectors to create effective housing solutions and vibrant communities.

 

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1

While it shares many of the objectives sought by other governments, Québec intends to fully exercise its own responsibilities and control over the planning, organization and management of housing on its territory to benefit Québec's population. Accordingly, Québec does not subscribe to the National Housing Strategy (NHS) and hopes to undertake as soon as possible discussions to reach an asymmetrical bilateral agreement, distinct from the NHS, which will fully respects Québec's exclusive responsibility in the area of housing and allows Québec to obtain its share of all federal funding dedicated to housing.

 

National Housing Strategy Principles

  • All NHS investments delivered by FPT governments must respect the key principles of the National Housing Strategy:

 

People

Communities

Partnership

  • Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable home
  • Housing investments must prioritize those most in need, including: women and children fleeing family violence; seniors;
    Indigenous peoples; visible minorities; people with disabilities; those dealing with mental health and addiction issues; veterans; and young adults
  • Housing policy should be
    grounded in the principles
    of inclusion, participation,
    accountability, and
    non-discrimination
  • Housing programs should align with public
    investments in job creation, skills training, transit, early
    learning, healthcare, and
    cultural and recreational
    infrastructure
  • Housing investments should support Canada's climate change agenda and commitment to accessible communities
  • Communities should be
    empowered to develop
    and implement local
    solutions to housing
    challenges
  • Good housing policy requires transparent and accountable
    partnership between the federal government, provinces, territories, municipalities, the social and private sectors, and people with lived experience of housing need
  • The community housing sector must be prioritized, protected and grown

 

Working Together

  • The National Housing Strategy is built on strong partnership between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, regional Indigenous governments and organizations, national Indigenous organizations, the social and private sectors. Canadians benefit when FPT governments work well together.
  • Housing issues are inter-related and solutions require a continuum of housing responses and a cross-sectorial, comprehensive approach. This requires co-ordination, horizontal policy integration, and joint planning with other policy sectors. It is critical that the actions on the part of one order of government consider the long-term sustainability challenges for the other.
  • Federal initiatives under the NHS are guided by a human rights-based approach to housing. With respect to federal NHS initiatives, the federal government commits to open and timely information sharing with provinces and territories (PTs) and consulting with PTs on program design to coordinate between federal and provincial/territorial initiatives. PTs will be invited to participate in federal programs designed to increase affordable housing supply, such as the National Housing Co-Investment Fund, by supporting decision-making and co-investing. Particulars of the federal-provincial/territorial partnership in the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and other federally managed initiatives will be determined between CMHC and each individual PT.
  • The federal, provincial, and territorial governments will work within the FPT Forum on Housing - the primary FPT intergovernmental housing forum - to discuss housing policy and program design, as well as monitor and evaluate the state of housing in Canada. The Forum will also support the assessment of NHS effectiveness and use shared intelligence to inform decision-making, priority setting and adjustments to FPT agreements where appropriate.

FPT Partnership Principles

  • As primary partners in housing, federal, provincial and territorial governments agree to:
    • Communicate, consult and work with each other and with municipalities, regional Indigenous governments and organizations, national Indigenous organizations, along with other organizations and stakeholders in a timely, open and transparent manner through the FPT Forum on Housing and other discussion tables;
    • Coordinate efforts to minimize duplication and ensure that housing and homelessness programs are delivered in the most efficient, effective way and build on each order of government's successes, experience and investments;
    • Provide the best possible service delivery that promotes ease of access to programs and initiatives and achieves positive outcomes for households in need and other clients;
    • Share data, information and research related to their activities and issues in support of outcomes;
    • Assume mutual accountability for the achievement of outcomes, as set out in the NHS, and report these outcomes to the public in an open, transparent, effective and timely manner;
    • Develop a coordinated approach to joint public communications at the project level, and more broadly on the NHS; and 
    • Ensure government funding is well managed and supports achievement of outcomes (e.g. through regular audits and evaluations).

Bilateral Arrangements

  • This Framework forms the basis for the development of bilateral arrangements that will include terms and conditions for: i) preservation and repair/regeneration of social housing, including Urban Native social housing units for those PTs that have taken on responsibility of this stock under existing social housing agreements, and expansion of the social housing stock; ii) support for PT priorities related to social and affordable housing repair, construction, and affordability support; iii) design and implementation of a Canada Housing Benefit; iv) and targeted northern funding for the territories.
  • The partners agree that effective investments and efficient delivery of housing and homelessness policies call for both multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
  • Bilateral arrangements will include many common elements2 as well as specific bilateral elements to be negotiated between the parties. They will also contain a provision that will allow PTs to amend their arrangement if a more favourable term related to common elements agreed to in this multilateral framework is negotiated with another province or territory and to make these terms available to other PTs.

 

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2

 The main intent is to provide a consistent approach among the provinces and territories (except Quebec) through the common terms and conditions of a bi-lateral related to, for example, allocation other than specific targeted funding (i.e., funding for the North), eligible use of funding, cost sharing, reporting, action plans, communication protocols, audits and financial terms and conditions.

 

Schedule 1: Bilateral Arrangements for PT-delivered NHS Investments

  • Federal, provincial and territorial governments are primary partners in housing. The federal and provincial/territorial (F-PT) governments have a shared responsibility and complementary roles for housing with the provinces and territories having primary responsibility for the design and delivery of housing programs within their jurisdiction.
  • PT governments will use funds provided under this framework to preserve, regenerate and expand social and community housing, support PT priorities related to housing repair, construction, and affordability support, and co-design and implement a new Canada Housing Benefit.
  • Federal targets below will inform the development of mutually agreed to PT targets in bilateral agreements with the goal of achieving the following:
    • Maintain/increase social housing supply:
      • 330,000 units continue to be offered in social housing
      • A 15% expansion of rent-assisted units (approximately 50,000 units based on number of units still supported by social housing agreements in 2018-19)
      • No net loss of Urban Native Social Housing units available to low-income households (baseline to be determined bilaterally
    • Repair existing stock:
      • At least 20% of existing social housing units repaired (approximately 60,000 units based on number of units still supported by social housing agreements in 2018-19)
      • Retained Urban Native Social Housing units will be repaired to good condition
    • Direct affordability support to households:
      • At least 300,000 households adequately supported through a Canada Housing Benefit
    • Remove households from housing need:
      • Overall, at least 490,000 households removed from housing need as a result of NHS funded housing interventions (ensuring an appropriate balance between targeting households in severe core housing need and core housing need)
  • The following principles will apply to all NHS investments, including those cost-shared and delivered by PTs:
    • Protect housing affordability for low-income households living in social housing by first preserving, then expanding the current number of rent assisted units in social housing in the province or territory, providing a sufficient level of affordability support to ensure those households are not in housing need, without creating unintended disincentives to employment, education, etc., and improving the condition of the existing stock.
    • Prioritize housing investments to the community housing sector, while taking into account the different needs, priorities and contexts of particular jurisdictions. The community sector has a strong social mandate that is in line with the objectives of the NHS. Investments in the sector help to create the conditions for long-lasting success.
    • Promote social inclusion through mixed-income or mixed-use housing and by assisting the most vulnerable and those in greatest need, such as seniors, people with disabilities, women, girls, and their families, particularly those fleeing domestic violence, veterans, Indigenous people, visible minorities, refugees, people suffering from mental illness or substance dependence, etc.
    • Create liveable and inclusive communities by supporting social and affordable housing that is easily accessible to public transit, health services, education, early learning and child care facilities, and employment opportunities. 
    • Promote environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, and local employment benefits.  This includes through new and renewed (repaired) housing that exceeds national Energy Building Code standards for large projects, and community employment benefits and climate lens considerations under the Investing in Canada Plan.
    • Support good governance and financial stability of the community sector through greater openness, transparency, and accountability with partners across orders of government, as well as municipalities, and with the private and social sectors.
  • In addition to the above principles, all PT funding, including funds for preserving, regenerating and expanding social housing (including Urban Native Social Housing); support for PT priorities related to repair and construction needs; implementation of a Canada Housing Benefit; and targeted northern funding for the territories are subject to mandatory requirements and use of fund conditions set out in this framework.
  • Remedies (e.g. a suspension of funding) could be applied if the eligible use of funding, cost matching and accountability and reporting requirements are not met:

Eligible Use of Funding

  • The following use of fund conditions will apply to the Canada Community Housing Initiative, PT Priority Funding, and targeted northern funding for the territories:
    • New construction/conversion of residential units, which may include up to 30% of total associated space available for non-residential amenities or purposes.
    • Repair, renovation, adaptation or regeneration of residential projects, which may include up to 30% of total associated space available for non-residential amenities or purposes.
    • Affordability support.
    • Eligible, incurred program management and administrative costs up to a maximum of 10%.
  • Eligible use of funds under the Canada Housing Benefit will entail affordability support for households and/or individuals and administrative costs up to a maximum of 10%.

Cost-Matching

  • The following cost-matching principles and/or requirements will apply to the Canada Community Housing Initiative and PT Priority Funding:
    • As primary partners with a shared goal to improve housing outcomes across Canada, federal housing funding to provinces and territories is cost-matched by provinces and territories.
    • Cost-matching may include capital costs, affordability assistance, and in-kind contributions (e.g. land development cost waivers). Cost-matching may also include, up to a limit of 20% of the PT cost-matching, housing support services intended to ensure housing retention, greater self-reliance for individuals, and social inclusion.
    • Required provincial or territorial cost matching may come from provincial or territorial governments and/or municipalities and a maximum of 50% may come from other eligible sources such as regional Indigenous governments and organizations, national Indigenous organizations, the private sector, voluntary sector charities and individual donors, excluding funding from CMHC and other federal sources.
    • PT investment in social and affordable housing that is outside of existing federal cost sharing requirements and contributes to the achievement of NHS outcomes and targets may be recognized as cost matching from April 1, 2018.
    • A PT investment cannot be used to meet multiple cost-matching requirements (i.e. no double counting).
    • If a PT is unable to cost match the investment, their share of funds could be reallocated or delivered federally.
    • Eligible, incurred administrative costs will be recognized as cost-matching, up to a maximum of 10%.
  • The above principles and requirements apply to the Canada Housing Benefit with the following modifications:
    • Cost-matching will take the form of direct affordability assistance to households and/or individuals; and
    • Required provincial or territorial cost matching, must come from the PT and/or municipalities, excluding funding from CMHC and other federal sources.
  • Targeted northern funding to the territories does not require cost-matching.

Accountability and Reporting

  • The following planning and reporting requirements will apply to the Canada Community Housing Initiative, PT Priority Funding, the Canada Housing Benefit and targeted northern funding for the territories:

    Action Plans
    • PTs will publish action plans every three years outlining how all funds allocated to PTs are being or will be used, including those for protection, repair and regeneration of social housing and urban native social housing; support for other PT housing priorities, including investment in housing repair and construction; the creation of a new Canada Housing Benefit; and targeted northern funding for the territories.
    • Action plans will take into consideration efforts to modernize social housing including steps towards achieving greater social inclusion, environmental and financial sustainability, and upgrading the condition of social housing assets. In addition, over the longer-term, action plans will consider how to integrate the Canada Housing Benefit and existing project-based supports as a means of supporting transformation of social housing.
    • Action plans will benefit from consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders and account for each jurisdiction's demographic, social and economic circumstances.
    • PT action plans will also set annual targets for outcomes and indicators over the three-year planning period.
    • Additional indicators and targets associated with the Canada Housing benefit may be developed and negotiated through bilateral agreements. 
    • PTs will provide progress reports to CMHC every six months on action plan items described above, which will form part of regular NHS assessments.
  • Impacts of housing investments can take considerable time – especially in the North. PTs will report on NHS investments at mid-year and annually as data on projects becomes available, starting at the end of 2019/20 using the following indicators:
    • Number of households removed from housing need by project-based subsidy or affordability assistance to the household, categorized by housing type, including social housing.
    • Total dollars committed and spent according to type of housing intervention, specifically new construction, repair/renewal, and affordability assistance
    • Number of renewed housing units by housing type and categorized according to type of intervention, specifically repair, renewal/revitalization, as well as, where applicable, by targeted housing program.
    • Number of new housing units categorized by housing type, and where applicable, categorized by targeted housing program.
    • Number of households receiving Canada Housing Benefit that are no longer facing housing affordability challenges.
    • Number of new housing projects that achieve reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Number of large repair and renewal housing projects that achieve reductions in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Number and percentage of new, repaired, renewed and revitalized housing units considered accessible in a building as per the local or national building code, and, where applicable, categorized by targeted housing program.
  • CMHC will report on NHS outcomes, at the project level (for new developments and large repair or renewal efforts of $1M or more), as well as at provincial, territorial and national levels. The federal government will make public project-level information, while having regard to privacy considerations.
  • Employment and economic development will also be monitored, though targets will not be developed or measured against. PTs with housing projects with eligible costs valued at over $10 million will report semi-annually where applicable on anticipated and actual job creation for targeted groups in planning and construction in work-hours, contracts awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises, and local training and workforce development.
  • The NHS applies a gender and diversity lens to its programs to ensure that programs result in the best possible outcomes for Canadians and to ensure that Canadians are not adversely impacted on the basis of gender and other identity factors. As such, gender and diversity impacts will be monitored and reported on where possible, though targets will not be developed or measured against.
  • In addition, the federal government, through data collected by federal surveys, will report on housing need, housing conditions and social, economic and environmental indicators at provincial, territorial and national levels. In these cases, provinces and territories will have advance notice of the results for their province or territory.
  • Detailed reporting, information and data sharing agreements specific to each PT will be determined bilaterally.

Funding

  • The following high-level descriptions are provided for each of the NHS funding categories covered under this framework. Specific funding allocations and other PT-specific details will be outlined in bilateral arrangements.

Canada Community Housing Initiative

  • Predictable, long-term funding is provided to PTs to protect, regenerate and expand social housing through ongoing support to social housing providers delivering subsidized housing to low-income Canadians, including Urban Native Social Housing units.
  • PTs have flexibility to use these funds to best suit the needs of their community housing[3] sector, including increasing supply, and determining which units to protect and/or regenerate, as well as the appropriate depth of funding for a particular unit, as long as funding principles are upheld (e.g. households are adequately supported through affordability assistance.) Moreover, funds must be invested within the community-based or public housing sectors.
  • Projects must also align with the overarching NHS principles and contribute to NHS outcomes.
  • PTs will also ensure no net loss of Urban Native Units and will improve the condition of the retained units through repairs and/or capital replacement. All units will have adequate affordability support.
  • PTs will have flexibility to use funds gained through social housing efficiencies (e.g. additional operating dollars will be available as social housing projects become more viable, either because mortgages are paid off or better management techniques are introduced, etc.) on other PT priorities related to housing affordability, repair and construction.

 

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The vision for community housing is the creation of housing (inclusive of non-profit, co-operative and public housing) that is guided by common principles outlined in the National Housing Strategy to ensure support for modern, efficient and effective systems that encourages social inclusion and is economically and socially sustainable.

 

Support PT priorities

  • PT priority funding is available from 2019-20 until 2026-27 to support regional needs and priorities related to social and affordable housing repair, construction and affordability support.
  • PT priority funds gradually taper off by 2027-28 in order to prioritize funding for the Canada Housing Benefit, which begins in 2020-21.
  • To ensure achievement of best possible outcomes, the allocation between the Canada Housing Benefit and funding for PT priorities will be mutually reviewed every three years.

Canada Housing Benefit

  • PTs will have an opportunity to co-develop, cost-match and deliver a Canada Housing Benefit for implementation in 2020-21, based on PT context and circumstances and aligned with NHS principles. For example, the benefit will be delivered to households or individuals; it will be suitable to the household and aligned with the principles and goals of the NHS (e.g. to reduce severe housing need); and it will protect against inflationary impacts through measures such as being prioritized in community housing or becoming progressively portable over time.

Targeted Funding for the North

  • The territories will receive targeted funds to address their distinct needs. These funds are not cost-matched, but like all PT investments, they must align with the principles and other funding requirements, such as triennial action plans and reporting.

 

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: Mathieu Filion, Director of Communications, Office of the Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546, mathieu.filion@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca; Charles Sauriol, Media Relations, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 613-748-2799, csauriol@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Sunny Patch, Cabinet Communications, 867-393-7478, sunny.patch@gov.yk.ca; Sarah Murray, Communications, Yukon Housing Corporation, 867-334-8712, sarah.murray@gov.yk.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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