Ottawa And Nunavut Announce Housing Benefit To Support Low-Income Families

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Iqaluit, Nunavut: A joint investment of $18 million has been announced to support over 670 low-income households in need through the new Canada–Nunavut Housing Benefit (CA-NU HB).

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Margaret Nakashuk, Minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, and Elisapee Sheutiapik, Minister of Family Services and Minister responsible for Homelessness made the announcement.

The Canada Housing Benefit is a National Housing Strategy program funded by the Government of Canada and costmatched by Nunavut.

In addition, the CA-NU HB is intended to address rental instability among certain target groups such as women and children experiencing or at risk of domestic violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, peoples with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness, racialized communities, veterans, young adults, among others.

Hussen said: “Everyone deserves a safe and secure home. The Canada–Nunavut Housing Benefit is designed to give households in need a boost, and provide some added stability during these uncertain times.

“Over the next eight years, we estimate this funding will serve some 670 homes in communities across Nunavut. Without doubt, that’s going to make a big impact in countless lives here in NU. This is the National Housing Strategy at work.”

Daniel Vandal said: “Everyone deserves a roof over their head and a safe place to call home. This investment through the Canada–Nunavut Housing Benefit will help many families and individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of being homeless and will make a difference in ending the cycle of homelessness. The Government of Canada’s ongoing support and commitment to creating affordable housing will help improve the lives of the most vulnerable individuals and families in Nunavut.”

Margaret Nakashuk noted: “A lack of transitional housing in Nunavut means that many Nunavummiut in need of shelter are forced to use emergency shelters, live in overcrowded conditions, or are homeless. The Canada Housing Benefit funding will be used to ease this hardship by facilitating access to housing on the private market for individuals, youth or families who are experiencing vulnerability or crisis. This benefit will provide $9 million to Nunavummiut in need over nine years.”

Elisapee Sheutiapik added: “We are pleased to access the $9 million Canada Housing Benefit, earmarked and targeted towards Nunavummiut transitioning into their own housing, but facing issues of a disproportionally high part of their salary going towards rent. This benefit will be a rent subsidy for individuals and families transitioning into new, better and more permanent housing solutions.

‘The rent support will also come with specific follow ups and supports from Family Services’ staff to ensure the participants in the program succeed in transitioning into their new housing. Our transitional housing coordinator will be reaching out to the communities to identify potential candidates. A full evaluation of the program will be done at the one year mark.”

• The Government of Canada will invest $2 billion in the Canada Housing Benefit across the country, which will be cost-matched by provinces and territories for a total $4-billion investment over 8 years, starting in spring 2020. The Canada Housing Benefit is expected to provide affordability assistance to approximately 300,000 Canadian households in need.

• The Canada–Nunavut Housing Benefit will invest $18 million in targeted support to meet the significant housing needs of around 670 residents of Nunavut with low income between 2021-22 and 2027-28.

• The Canada–Nunavut Benefit is part of the 8-year bilateral agreement between the governments of Canada and Nunavut, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS).

• The NHS invests a total of nearly $333 million, cost-shared by the federal government and the Government of Nunavut, to protect, renew and expand social and community housing, support province’s priorities related to housing repair, construction and affordability, and provide a portable rent subsidy directly to households.

• Through the Canada–Nunavut Housing Benefit, the average monthly benefit is approximately $3100 per month to support housing costs.

• CMHC supports the government’s efforts to improve the well-being of Canadians facing housing and homelessness challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NHS is built on strong partnerships between the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private housing sectors. This includes consultations with Canadians from all walks of life, and people with lived experience of housing need.

•All NHS investments delivered by the federal, provincial and territorial governments will respect the key principles of the NHS that support partnerships, people and communities.

• Canada’s NHS is an ambitious, 10- year plan that will invest over $72 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home. Launched in 2017, the NHS will build and repair thousands of housing units, and help households with affordability support.

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