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Results: 1 - 15 of 127
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge that the land on which we gather today is part of the traditional territories of the Algonquin Anishinaabe people.
I'm very pleased to appear before this committee today to talk about one of the affordability measures that we introduced in the House of Commons on September 20, the one time top-up to the Canada housing benefit.
Our government has made housing a priority throughout its mandate. We all believe that every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, but we also recognize that it is becoming increasingly challenging for many Canadians to afford rent or to find housing across the country. As part of our efforts to make life more affordable for Canadians in all aspects of their lives, our government recognizes that many need immediate additional assistance.
That is why we have introduced this legislation to provide a direct federal government housing top-up payment of $500 to 1.8 million Canadians who are struggling with the cost of rent. The impacts of the pandemic are still being felt by many Canadians. This one-time top-up will be a tax-free payment to provide direct support to low-income renters, those who are experiencing housing affordability challenges.
This federal benefit will be available to applicants with an adjusted net income below $35,000 for families, or below $20,000 for individuals, and who pay at least 30% of their adjusted net income on rent.
There's a reason housing is at the heart of Budget 2022, with more than $14 billion committed to doubling the number of new safe and affordable homes we're building across the country, to tackle the rising cost of housing and to find long-term solutions for the housing sector in Canada.
This new, one-time federal payment will be in addition to the already existing Canada housing benefit that is already delivered in partnership with provinces and territories. We know that families need the support now. That is why we are hoping that this payment will be launched before the end of the year.
This one-time payment for renters is another targeted approach to ensuring that vulnerable families are not left behind. It is part of our government's plan to make housing more affordable for all Canadians.
However, it is not enough to find a single solution to help the Canadians who need it most. The National Housing Strategy, a ten-year plan of over $72 billion, includes multiple solutions to make housing more affordable for everyone.
This includes programs like the rapid housing initiative, which has already delivered or is on track to deliver over 10,250 permanently affordable homes for the most vulnerable. As announced in budget 2022, the success of this program is leading us to move forward with the third round of the rapid housing initiative, which will deliver an additional 4,500 units of deeply affordable housing for the most vulnerable.
I want to close by reiterating that making life more affordable for Canadians who need it most is the top priority for our government. Our proposed one-time top-up payment to the Canada housing benefit will help us deliver on this priority and offer real help to Canadians who need it now.
These are the kinds of measures that our government is putting into action right now to tackle the housing crisis, while taking a human rights-based approach to housing.
I want to thank you, Mr. Chair, for this opportunity. I'm happy to answer any questions posed by my colleagues.
Thank you.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Absolutely. Not only am I in constant contact with my counterparts—ministers in the provinces and territories—we recently concluded a very productive meeting of federal-provincial-territorial ministers responsible for housing and homelessness. We've engaged constantly on issues around support for renters.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
I spoke to them about the need to support Canadian renters, low-income families—
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
We remain in touch on all aspects of the housing spectrum, including how to better support vulnerable renters. This is one of the approaches to do that.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
My response is that this is a one-time top-up payment to an already existing program called the Canada housing benefit, which already delivers an average of $2,500 to Canadian renters from coast to coast to coast.
I want to also highlight the fact that all 10 provinces and three territories have signed on to the Canada housing benefit. It's a cost-shared program.
This particular payment will reach 1.8 million Canadian renters. We know that they need that support now.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
I can tell you that we have a number of programs in the north to tackle the specific challenges—
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm happy to answer the question, if you let me.
In the north, we understand the unique challenges faced by northern communities when it comes to building affordable housing. We've dedicated not only—
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm happy to answer it, if you'll let me.
If I may continue, we understand the importance of investing in affordable housing in the north. Over the years we've put in place programs that enable northern communities to access more federal housing dollars—
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, MP Sidhu, for that important question.
Yes, this legislation will benefit 1.8 million renters struggling with the cost of housing in this country. It will be available to applicants with a family income below $35,000, or $20,000 for individuals, and who pay at least 30% of their net income on rent. The application process for this benefit will be attestation-based, as my colleague has indicated, and the CRA will provide the upfront verification of an applicant's eligibility.
It's really important to also note that this benefit will not reduce other federal income-based benefits programs, and we will work with provinces and territories to ensure that recipients do not have their provincial and territorial benefits negatively impacted as a result of receiving this housing benefit.
The payment will be launched by the end of the year, pending passage of this legislation, so I really urge my Conservative colleagues to stop obstructing the passage of this legislation and to help us deliver this much-needed payment to Canadians as soon as possible.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
You asked me the question. I'm answering.
In terms of the issue of the money helping residents of Quebec....
We know that it is increasingly difficult for many Canadians to pay higher rents, or even to find housing they can afford. That is why we are bringing a bill forward that will enable us to pay $500 quickly to the 1.8 million Canadian renters who are having trouble paying their rent.
That includes, of course, residents of Quebec. This will help them as well. This already builds up on the existing Canada housing benefit agreement that we've signed with the Province of Quebec, which is already helping 145,000 households in Quebec. We have been active in providing rental supports to vulnerable Quebeckers, and we'll continue to do that with this one-time top-up.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much for the question, Madam Kwan.
I can tell you that this benefit will not impact federal income-based benefits. We will work very diligently with provinces and territories to also ensure that recipients will not have their provincial or territorial benefits negatively impacted as a result of this payment.
With respect to the scenario you highlighted with landlords, my aim would be to make sure that, as we provide this rental support to vulnerable renters, it doesn't actually lead to an increase in their rent. We will work to ensure that's not the case. We are still looking at those different scenarios, but the one that you highlight is very important. We need to pay particular attention to that.
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
The different national housing strategy programs that are working on the ground in Nunavut are varied. They have different deliverables in terms of the unit numbers, the affordability levels and the dollar—
View Ahmed Hussen Profile
Lib. (ON)
I can get you a total number, but I can also tell you how much money we have invested in Nunavut and the different programs that have gone into—
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