Housing policy news: March 2022

March 31, 2022


  • New report reveals that the National Housing Strategy is falling short on creating affordable housing The National Housing Council’s report has revealed that the federal government’s National Housing Strategy is not on track to address the housing needs of communities in core housing need, namely people living in homelessness, Indigenous peoples, women and children fleeing domestic violence, and newcomers. The report outlines that – at the mid-way point of its implementation – the 10-year strategy has not increased affordable housing options, and estimates that only 3% of units created under the strategy’s rental construction fund could be considered affordable to low-income households. The Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, Ahmed Hussen, has said that he will look to see what changes could be made to the strategy.  
  • New National Housing Council report recommends actions for the federal government to address Indigenous housing issues The National Housing Council has released a new report with a set of recommendations to address critical gaps in the National Housing Strategy related to urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing. The report has been sent to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, with the Council‘s recommendations that the federal government should: 
    • Establish a national Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Body. 
    • Establish an interim mechanism to fund immediate needs. 
    • Provide immediate and sustained investment in urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing. 
    • Further engagement efforts to understand urban, rural and northern Indigenous homelessness. 


  • 2022 budget includes a rent cap for tenants, protections against evictions, and a tax cut for landlords In its 2022 budget, the Government of New Brunswick has announced that rent increases for 2022 will be capped at 3.8 per cent, with a possible extension of the cap beyond 2022. The government says the cap will be retroactive to January 1, 2022. However several concerns have been raised that the new policy requires legislation to be enforceable. The budget also indicates that tenants who are evicted without cause could be eligible for compensation and landlords may face a penalty. Additionally, the government will also introduce a 50 per cent cut to the property tax rate for apartment buildings and rental homes.  



  • Advocates call on the Government of Quebec to recognize the right to housing A group of over 500 organizations and individuals led by the Front d’action populaire en réaménagement urbain (FRAPRU) are calling on the Government of Quebec to recognize the right to housing in its housing policy and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The group also called on the government to include substantial investments in social housing in its 2022 budget, and to implement new regulations to address renovictions, short-term rentals, and real estate speculation.


  • Cornwall is considering a new by-law to prevent renovictions On March 29, Cornwall City Council agreed to ask city staff to prepare a feasibility report for a new by-law that would limit the number of tenants that landlords who own multiple units can evict at one time to do renovations. This move from City Council is coming one month after a corporate landlord served all 92 units at an apartment complex with “renoviction” notices. Staff will consult the City’s legal team and present a report at the end of April


  • New stakeholder engagement report on homelessness has been released As part of the development of its homelessness strategy, the Government of Manitoba has released a new report summarizing feedback from community stakeholders on homelessness in the province, with a focus on nine themes: housing, income, other services, transitions, prevention, service delivery, non-profit funding, private sector’s role and accountability. The report is meant to help inform the government’s new homelessness strategy, to be released later in 2022. 


  • Provincial and municipal governments are at odds on how to address housing supply BC’s Housing Minister has said that the province is considering legislation to override municipalities that refuse to approve new social housing or housing developments near transit. The statement prompted a response from the Union of BC Municipalities, in the form of a controversial report, contesting the claim that the province’s housing crisis can be attributed to a shortage of housing supply. The exchange highlights an ongoing debate in the province on how to address the housing affordability crisis and which level of government holds responsibility. 


  • Minister asks for increased and more flexible federal funding for northern housing On March 22, the Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation and homelessness, Paulie Chinna, spoke at the federal government’s Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. The Minister asked the Committee to consider various policies to support housing in northern Canada, including multi-year capital funding for new public housing, continued operational funding for public housing, and allowing local and territorial governments to have more control over how federal funds are spent.  


  • New federal funding for affordable housing in Nunavut announced The federal government will invest $45 million through the Rapid Housing Initiative to build 101 affordable homes across Iqaluit, Sanirajak, Kimmirut, Naujaat, Kugaaruk and Pond Inlet. This announcement follows a plea from Premier P.J. Akeeagok in January 2022, who noted that Nunavut needs 3,500 new affordable homes to help address the housing crisis.  
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