Across Canada, hundreds of thousands of co-op, non-profit and public housing units have been receiving subsidies for decades from the federal government. These subsidies, which allow very low-income families to be housed, are beginning to run out, and this phenomenon will accelerate over the next five years. The number of housing units benefiting from long-term agreements decreased from 630,000 in 2006 to 613,500 in 2010. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) predicts this number will go down to 540,800 in 2015. This trend will continue, so that by 2032, the federal government will no longer fund any housing units. All social housing units built before 1994 will be affected. This represents a loss of $1.7 billion in funding per year.
The withdrawal of federal funding will have dramatic consequences. Low-income tenants living in co-op and non-profit housing will lose CMHC funding that allows them to pay rent geared to their income. These tenants will face steep rent increases, possibly forcing them to leave, and be replaced by more affluent tenants.
If nothing is done, the housing crisis in Canada will be aggravated. Already, there are 982,000 Canadian tenant households facing core housing need. This loss of federal funding comes on top of cuts to federal funding for the creation of new affordable housing, which is at its lowest level in ten years.
We need to preserve existing social housing, not only for current tenants, but for all households who will need it in the future. FRAPRU is demanding that the federal government immediately commit to maintaining funding for social housing, after the termination of long-term funding agreements signed when these units were originally built.
Click here to print and sign the petition.