Last Tuesday (March 22) saw the Trudeau government’s announcement of the long-awaited budget for 2016, which included a $2-billion-plus allocation for social housing.
The budget also included a landmark provision that would address the housing needs of indigenous peoples, with $416 million earmarked for housing on First Nations reserves and a total of $739 million for Inuit, Norther, and First Nations housing.
The $2.3 billion social housing portion would be released over a period of two years, with approximately $504 million to be invested in the same period to cover for new affordable housing infrastructure as well as renovation and repair of existing units. The amount would also pay for rent supplements and other related measures.
$112 million would be used for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, which would aim to address rampant homelessness and provide improved support for veterans, youth, and domestic violence survivors.
$208 million would be used for 4,000 affordable rental housing units that would be handled by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Meanwhile, $200.7 million will go to the construction of affordable housing for seniors in over 5,000 low-income households.
The release of the budget came with news that the federal government is set to experience a $29.4 billion deficit for 2016/17, nearly three times the amount promised by the Liberal party during the previous elections.