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Results: 1 - 15 of 872
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thank you to the representatives from CMHC for being here today.
My first question ties into the national housing coinvestment fund initiative. The average rental price of units approved under the national housing coinvestment fund was higher than 30% of before-tax household income in several of the provinces and territories. The Auditor General, in fact, stated, “Having affordability criteria linked to market rent will continue to produce housing that is unaffordable to many of these groups.”
My question is, why did the national housing coinvestment fund use a different affordability measure—based on 80% of the average market rent—from the criteria used by the national housing strategy overall, which uses 30% of a household's before-tax income? Who made that decision?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Sorry, it's the national housing coinvestment fund, specifically.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
I'm sorry, but I'm going to interrupt for a second.
Perhaps we can get the data, because we're just walking around in circles, here. I would appreciate getting the actual data with respect to units that have been funded under the coinvestment fund and what affordability criteria they met. In other words, how many units receive 80% of average market rent in that category, broken down by the year in which the program rolled out, as well as by province and territory? I would also like to get information on how many units, similarly, use 30% of the household's total income, so we can get a breakdown of what actually went down. Talking around in circles does not help.
Finally, I would like to know this: Who made the decision on that affordability criterion for the coinvestment fund, and at what juncture? The target of the coinvestment fund was supposed to be rents that did not exceed 30% of total income. That was supposed to be the affordability criterion, but somehow it has shifted. Is it a wonder the Auditor General found the program did not meet the affordability needs of the people who need it the most?
If I could get that information, I would very much appreciate it. Can I get confirmation that I will get that data?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you.
On a different question, with respect to even the rapid housing initiative and the national housing coinvestment fund—both of these programs—the Auditor General indicated this:
[A]lthough the corporation knew that housing types likely to benefit vulnerable groups, such as transitional and supportive housing, were being funded, the corporation did not know whether priority vulnerable groups who were intended to benefit from approved projects were actually housed once projects were completed.
Could CMHC table this information? What data does CMHC have regarding who was housed under the national housing strategy programs specifically related to the six programs audited by the Auditor General, through which the government has spent $4.5 billion?
The Auditor General report also revealed that CMHC didn't know whether projects intended for priority vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, were actually housing these priority groups.
My question is, can we also get a breakdown of those units? How many of those units were targeted housing for people living with disabilities?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
That's fair enough.
With respect to the data, can we get information that indicates which units have been completed and occupied? What does the data look like, and what is the occupation date? This is so we'd know when the project was completed and occupied. What projects have not yet been completed and are therefore not occupied? Is that data yet to come? What is the projected timeline for when the project would be completed? Then we could anticipate when that information would be available and provided to the committee.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
I'm sorry, Mr. Chair. I have a point of clarification.
Ms. Bowers said, “to the extent” the information is “available to us”. If the information is not available, I think the committee would appreciate receiving the reason it's not available.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Some of that data is not particularly meaningful if you don't get into the details of the affordability and how it's actually met the need. I think that's the point the Auditor General was raising in this report.
The corporation took the position that it was not directly accountable for the achievement of the strategy's target to reduce chronic homelessness by 50% by the year 2027-2028. Is that still the corporation's position? You can just give us a yes or no.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Is CMHC accountable? It said it's not, so you are now saying you will take joint responsibility with Infrastructure Canada. Is that what you're saying?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you. I understand how the programs work.
Is it CMHC's opinion that the government will in fact meet this target?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
I'm sorry, but I have very limited time.
Is it your opinion that CMHC will meet this target, as the government has laid out?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Is your answer no, then? I don't have enough time, so could you just give me a short yes or no?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
The Auditor General is saying it's not going to achieve the federal national housing strategy target of reducing chronic homelessness by 50% by the 2027-28 fiscal year.
I'm hearing you echo that, unless it's different. If you want to provide something more fulsome in writing to the committee, please do so through the chair.
On the coinvestment fund, right now my understanding is that CMHC has reduced the amount of funding to community groups such that they can receive only $25,000 per unit. Is that correct?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
What will happen for community groups that require more than $25,000 to achieve their project? If they don't get it, there are only two ways to go: The affordability criteria will not be met, or the project will not be viable.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you.
Mr. Chair, I wonder whether I can submit written questions of other members.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Thank you to the minister and his officials for coming to the committee.
My first question for the minister relates to the Hong Kong lifeboat scheme. Approximately 12,000 individuals have come to Canada and applied under that scheme, and 6,487 people were approved as of October 2021. Only 45 had permanent resident status approved by January 2022. According to research from Community Family Services of Ontario, 22% of the open work permit applicants graduated in 2016 or 2017, making them ineligible for PR under the scheme. By the time they complete their PR requirements, the degree, the limitation of five years will be over.
As the minister can see, there remain substantial barriers for Hong Kongers to access the open work permit scheme. It's set to expire on February 7, 2023. No replacement has yet been announced.
My question for the minister is this: Will he eliminate the five-year rule to make the lifeboat scheme actually workable for Hong Kongers? Second, will he extend the program?
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