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A simple plan to help boost Canada’s affordable housing supply

A federal fund could allow non-profits to buy and maintain existing stock, freeing up private sector capital for reinvestment
By Mark Kenney and Sam Kolias

The federal government has embraced a robust suite of measures to spark new home construction, and as officials consider next steps to tackle the crisis, they must pursue a parallel line of attack just as important as new supply — ensuring the existing stock of affordable housing is protected and expanded.

The current shortage of social housing, combined with higher costs of renting and home ownership, have left more Canadians at risk of homelessness. Many people are being forced to sleep in tents this winter — and that is not acceptable.

A recent poll by Abacus Data found that almost 80 per cent of low- income renters are worried about their ability to pay rent. An astonishing 57 per cent are worried about losing their home.

Some estimates show Canada is now short 4.4 million homes for people in housing need.

The unacceptable level of housing insecurity is why Canada’s five largest publicly traded residential REITs — responsible for 120,000 tenure-stable, purpose-built rental homes with more than half qualifying as affordable — have formed Canadian Rental Housing Providers for Affordable Housing ( to collaborate on innovative solutions. …[Continue Reading]