Around $600bn in additional housing investment needed, say municipalities

CMHC estimates a further 5.8 million homes are required to meet affordability targets by 2030

Around $600bn in additional housing investment needed, say municipalities

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), an advocacy group that represents over 2000 Canadian municipalities, has said municipalities need around $600 billion in order to meet housing affordability targets by 2030.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the national housing agency, has estimated at 5.8 million the number of homes that need to be built by that year in order to restore housing affordability.

Canadian municipalities have expressed their disappointment over the exclusion of a new infrastructure funding model in the federal government’s fall economic statement that was released this week as the prime minister has previously promised that it would be included.

In a news conference held by the federation in Ottawa, the FCM called on the federal government to discuss a new funding framework with provincial, territorial, and municipal leaders that will take economic and population growth into consideration.

Mike Savage, mayor of Halifax and chair of the Big City Mayors’ Caucus, said municipalities faced more fiscal pressure than other levels of government. While the federal government has done a lot, municipalities needed more support as they required more funding for roads, public transport, drinking water systems, and housing construction, he said.

“We don't expect that the federal government and the provinces will turn around on Saturday morning and write a check for $600 billion to fix this gap,” said Savage. “What we do expect is that they accept that it's a real threat to the future of Canada, and particularly to its growth, and that they look at the things they can do.”

In this week’s fiscal update, the Liberal government acknowledged the pressure on federal finances brought by high inflation and interest rate.

Katherine Cuplinskas, press secretary to federal finance minister Chrystia Freeland, issued a statement highlighting the fiscal update’s housing focus with billions in new investments aimed at building more houses – but did not address concern about the federal government’s lack of a new infrastructure funding model for municipalities.