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Current events in the housing sector

Information is current as of: September 8, 2016

Government of Canada

  • Budget 2016 provided a significant increase in federal funding for affordable housing. CMHC is expected to release the details of new programs in the fall of 2016. In particular, municipalities will be able to obtain low-cost loans from the federal government to construct new affordable rental housing units.
  • In summer 2016 the Government of Canada began consulting Canadians on the development of a National Housing Strategy. An online survey is available until October 21, 2016 and details will be released on November 22, 2016 (National Housing Day). Feedback received during the consultation will be used to develop recommendations for a National Housing Strategy.
  • In September 2016, the Government of Canada announced an 18-year agreement to provide annual funding to the Government of Alberta to support existing social housing units. The new agreement replaces 17 cost-share agreements that had various conditions and expiry dates. 

Government of Alberta

  • The Government of Alberta is developing a Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy. The public consultation phase closed on July 3, 2016 and the province plans to have a Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy in place by spring 2017.
  • A key component of the Ministry of Seniors and Housing’s 2016-19 Business Plan is to undertake a review of the regulations under the Alberta Housing Act.
  • Capital investment in non-market housing is expected to increase over previous years as the 2016-17 budget calls for investments of $258 million into the Alberta Social Housing Corporation; a 54 per cent increase over the 2015-16 budget.
  • The Ministry of Seniors and Housing plans to re-engage with housing management bodies to collect up-to-date information related to the Lodge Issue Review that was stalled in previous years. 
  • The Ministry of Human Services continues to support the six working committees that make up the Interagency Council on Homelessness. The Interagency Council provides advice and guidance on policy, regulatory and program changes required for successful implementation of the province’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

  • Leading up to the 2015 federal election, FCM led a campaign, Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch, which called on the federal government to develop a long-term housing plan and increase investments in non-market housing. Budget 2016 answered those calls and FCM will continue to monitor the outcomes of those budget promises.


  • AUMA continues to monitor the activities of both governments and where possible, provide input into the housing strategies, updates to regulations, and future budgeted investments in non-market housing.
  • In spring 2016, the AUMA promoted a letter campaign through its members to advocate for the province to reinstate the grant-in-lieu payments to municipalities for provincially-owned social housing properties. The province has maintained its position to-date but AUMA is hopeful for changes in the 2017-18 budget.