The latest federal spending estimates for the coming fiscal year show a sharp drop in investments in national housing and homelessness programs – confirming a trend over the past two decades of steady erosion in federal support for affordable housing and homelessness initiatives (as noted in the Wellesley Institute’s Precarious Housing in Canada 2010 report). The latest spending estimates from the federal Treasury Board report that overall spending at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC – the federal government’s national housing agency) will be cut from $3.1 billion in fiscal 2010 to $1.9 billion in fiscal 2011 – down by 39% (see page 175 of the estimates).
Funding for Canada’s national homelessness plan is to be cut by 11% from $124 million to $110 million, and funding for national homelessness research will be cut by 70% from $2.5 million to $750,000 (page 178). CMHC’s corporate forecasts also confirm major cuts: The federal affordable housing initiative is slated to be cut to zero by 2014, the overall number of subsidized homes will drop by 50,200 by 2014, and the number of homes renovated under national programs will be cut by 96% from 2010 to 2014 (with only 745 home repairs in all of Canada scheduled for that year). The sharp cuts to housing and homelessness spending come at the same time that CMHC is reporting that its net income will more than double from $911m in 2010 to $2b in 2014. While Canada is cutting, the US is planning major investments in housing and homelessness solutions.