Habitat for Humanity, Canada’s only national affordable homeownership provider, welcomes key housing measures in the federal budget and Canada’s Housing Plan

TORONTO, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In Canada’s housing landscape, Habitat for Humanity holds a unique position as the country’s only national affordable homeownership organization. Across Canada, 45 local Habitats fill the role of developer, builder, lender, and service provider to families in need of housing.

Together with local Habitats, and our many fellow housing organizations, we recognize that we are facing a housing crisis that cuts across populations, puts tremendous pressure on racialized communities, and threatens the social and economic cohesion of our country.

Habitat has long advocated for an all-in approach to solving this crisis, and welcomes many of the measures in Canada’s Housing Plan, supported through Budget 2024:

Additional investments in the Affordable Housing Fund:

  • Additional $976 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, for a Rapid Housing stream for deeply affordable housing, supportive housing, and shelters. This investment will build on the success of previous investments in the Affordable Housing Fund (formerly the National Housing Co-Investment Fund), that Habitats have benefitted from. Habitat Canada looks forward to learning more about the process and the specific investment in affordable homeownership.

Public lands for homes:

  • Habitat Canada welcomes the initial details of the Public Lands for Homes Plan, including a commitment to publish a public land bank by fall 2024, and $5 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to overhaul the Canada Lands Company. Land acquisition is one of the biggest barriers to creating affordable housing, and non-profit builders like Habitat must compete against for-profit developers to acquire it. Habitats in several provinces have successfully used surplus federal land to create affordable housing for Canadian families.

Leveraging federal financing to get homes built:

  • Further to our calls for an integrated approach across government and the housing sector, we welcome measures under the proposed Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund, federal public transit funding, and the Housing Accelerator to incent municipalities to make changes that gets homes built more affordably and quickly. These include waiving development charges for three years, prioritizing density around public transit, and integrating community planning.

There are many other housing measures included in Budget 2024 that we anticipate will support the shared goal of safe, decent and affordable housing for more Canadians. Habitat Canada hopes that the funds allocated will flow quickly enough to have the needed impact. Additional measures, like removing the GST on homes sold by affordable housing providers, like Habitat, to lower-income working families can still be advanced.

Thousands of low to moderate income Canadian families benefit from the security of owning a Habitat home through a no-down-payment, geared-to-income mortgage. For the families Habitat serves, including single parents, Black and Indigenous families, newcomers to Canada, and people who need an accessible place to live, homeownership would be out of reach if not for their partnership with Habitat.

While Habitat is a charity that benefits from the support of very generous donors and thousands of volunteers, it is not immune to today’s challenges to building affordably. With the right tools and support from governments, Habitat can build more homes faster for deserving families.

“At Habitat for Humanity, we see first-hand how stable and affordable housing transforms lives across generations,” says Habitat Canada President and CEO, Julia Deans. “Canada’s Housing Plan presents an excellent opportunity to truly come together and build the Canada we want, one where every family has the opportunity to own a home and create a secure and prosperous future for themselves and their family. We look forward to working with our partners, including all orders of government, to achieve this goal.”

Habitat Canada will have more to say about Budget 2024 in the coming days.

About Habitat for Humanity Canada

Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, charitable organization working towards a world where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home. Habitat Canada brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership. With the help of volunteers, Habitat homeowners and 45 local Habitats working in every province and territory, we provide a solid foundation for better, healthier lives in Canada and around the world. Habitat for Humanity Canada is a member of Habitat for Humanity International, which was established in 1976 and has grown to become a leading global non-profit working in more than 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.habitat.ca

For more information and media requests:

Jennifer Fowler
Director, Communications
Habitat for Humanity Canada

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/92e6e866-b1d2-4bbe-b62c-5a576981d41b

Habitat for Humanity,