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The National Housing Accord - Issue Report

Report To: Manitoulin-Sudbury District Services Board

From: Lori Clark, Director of Integrated Human Services 
Date: November 16, 2023

Re: The National Housing Accord


To provide the Board with an update on the recommendations made in The National Housing Accord: A Multi-Sector Approach to Ending Canada’s Rental Housing Crisis.


The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH), Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC) and the Smart Property Institute have partnered to create the National Housing Accord: A Multi-Sector Approach to Ending Canada’s Rental Housing Crisis.  

The housing crisis in Canada has reached a critical level, with rapidly increasing rents and a shortage of affordable units, vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted.

The report outlines a plan to restore affordability, protect Canada’s most vulnerable and build at least two million new affordable and market rental units by 2030.

The National Housing Accord has outlined 10 recommendations to address housing affordability, meet the needs of the increasing population, create jobs, and play a critical role in ending homelessness.

The 10 recommendations are:

1. Create a coordinated plan with all three orders of government and create an Industrial Strategy led by a roundtable of public and private builders, the non-profit housing sector, Indigenous housing experts, investors and labour. The federal plan should include targets and accountability measures. The plan should include enhanced data collection, more robust and frequent population forecasts and better research to understand Canada’s housing system. The plan should also include a blueprint to fund deeply affordable housing, co-operative housing and supportive housing, along with seniors housing and student residences and double the relative share of non-market community housing.

2. The federal government should help create a national workforce and immigration strategy on housing, including construction trades and other employment classes related to housing production.

3. The federal government should help reform CMHC fees and the federal tax system, including changes to capital cost provisions and eliminating the GST/HST on purpose-built rental housing to incentivize the construction of purpose-built rental housing.

4. Provide low-cost, long-term fixed-rate financing for constructing purpose-built rental housing, as well as financing to upgrade existing purpose-built rentals to make them more accessible, climate-friendly and energy efficient.

5. To ensure innovations achieve scale, the federal government should help develop a robust innovation strategy for housing, including procurement policy and innovation centres for housing construction.

6. The federal government should help reform the National Building Code to drive innovation in the homebuilding sector.

7. Streamline the CMHC approvals process, which can include a Code of Conduct for Builders and a catalogue of pre-approved designs to allow for the fast-tracking of purpose-built rental housing.

8. Create property acquisition programs for non-profit housing providers to help purchase existing rental housing projects and hotels and facilitate office-to-residential conversions. These programs could include capital grants, provision of pre-approved debt financing, funds that provide secondary debt and equity financing, or other innovative levers that help with the initial costs without saddling the providers with operating and significant debt servicing costs.

9. Create a Homelessness Prevention and Housing Benefit (HPHB), which would provide immediate rental relief to up to 385,000 households at imminent risk of homelessness, help over 50,000 people leave homelessness and reduce pressure on Canada’s overwhelmed homeless systems.

10. Reform the Canada Housing Benefit to better target individuals and families with the greatest housing needs by replacing it with a Portable Housing Benefit (PHB).


Staff are recommending the Board approve this report, its 10 recommendations and corresponding resolution.