Last week marked the release of the 2022 federal budget and it contained great news for the housing co-operative movement in Canada.
The budget contains $1.5 billion in funding and loans dedicated to co-operative housing to help create 6,000 for a new generation of co-op homes across Canada.
This is the largest government investment in co-op housing in our country in 30 years.
As the administrators of the federal government’s housing co-operative programs, the Agency has seen first-hand how its past investment in co-ops has created long-term affordable housing for generations of people.
Housing co-operatives created in the 1970s and 1980s during the last generation of government investment are now paying off their mortgages, and while remaining affordable, many are choosing to expand to create more affordable housing units, reinvest in their properties and improve their environmental sustainability. It’s worth noting that these are strong businesses and resilient communities thanks to the support, services and leadership of the co-operative housing sector.
This new generation of co-op homes can, likewise, be a similar long-term investment in on-profit affordable housing communities for future generations.
In addition, the budget also provides $300 million to develop and launch an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy. The Agency hopes this represents a strong step forward in addressing the critical need for affordable housing for Indigenous people.
Budget 2022 also contains other measures aimed at helping improve housing affordability and access to housing, including:
Launching a New Housing Accelerator Fund with $4 billion in funding over five years to create 100,000 new housing units.
Committing 1.5 billion over two years to extend the Rapid Housing Initiative to create at least 6,000 new affordable housing units.
Introducing restrictions that would prohibit foreign commercial enterprises and people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents from acquiring properties in Canada for two years.
Extending the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which provides the option for a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada.
A Multigenerational Home Renovation Tax Credit, which would provide up to $7,500 for constructing a secondary suite for a senior or an adult with a disability.
A one-time $500 payment to those facing housing affordability challenges in 2022-23.
Doubling Home Accessibility Tax Credit to help with renovations and upgrades to make homes safe and accessible.
A Tax-Free First Home Savings Account that would give first-time home buyers the ability to save up to $40,000, with contributions being tax-deductible. Withdrawals to purchase a first home would also be non-taxable.
Stay tuned as more details about the funding and loan programs become available later this year.