POLICY

Reside and the Political Environment 

 

In this section, you can read more about how the Reside model fits into the greater Canadian political environment. You will learn about how Canada’s National Housing Strategy and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation can support the implementation of Reside across Canada. 

 

CANADA’S NATIONAL HOUSING STRATEGY 

 

The National Housing Strategy (‘The Strategy’) was first introduced in 2017 as Canada’s very first housing strategy. The strategy is a comprehensive, 12-chapter document outlining what this 10-year, $40 billion plan will look like. The ultimate goal is to increase access to housing options for those across Canada.  

 

The Strategy is based on four core principles of inclusion, accountability, participation, and non-discrimination. Based on these principles, big changes will be made to the Government of Canada. For instance, a new public engagement campaign will be released to reduce stigma and discrimination of low-income households. The new legislation will also be created to ensure that the most vulnerable population is prioritized, and that affordable housing is treated as a human right.   

 

Reside supports the goals of The Strategy in several notable ways: 

 

  • Repair and renovate existing housing 

  • Environmental sustainability 

  • Social sustainability 

  • Economic sustainability 

 

Goal 1: Repair and Renovate Existing Housing 

 

The Reside model supports the general aim to repair and renovate existing housing. By 2030 the goal of The Strategy is to have repaired 240,000 existing housing units. Currently, Reside works by renovating vacant or under-utilized spaces such as heritage homes; the Reside model can be applied to many different kinds of properties to create new housing stock in places, such as old office buildings or schools like those examples outlined in The Strategy. 

Goal 2: Environmental Sustainability 

 

Canada is implementing solutions that reduce stress on the environment. The Strategy places an emphasis on reducing the amount of energy, land, water, and raw materials it takes to build and live in a home. In particular, there is a strong focus on improving the performance of existing buildings to avoid the wastefulness and excessive consumption associated with demolitions and new builds. Reside supports this initiative by significantly extending the lifespan of older structures through renovation and enhancements. These improvements to otherwise vacant and desolate spaces improve their energy efficiency, usability, and create a viable alternative to more costly new builds.   

 

Goal 3: Social Sustainability 

 

The Strategy is seeking to create communities that are more socially inclusive and adaptable in order to prolong their lifespans. A community is socially sustainable when individuals have the opportunities and resources to successfully and happily participate within the space. Reside takes great strides to impact communities in socially sustainable ways.   

 

One way Reside positively impacts communities is through the conservation of heritage sites. By updating heritage sites into usable residential spaces, Reside repurposes and preserves important cultural value and influence within a community that would otherwise be lost. Another way by which Reside contributes to social sustainability is through its advocacy for accessible housing, and encouragement of all efforts to foster a wholly inclusive community. This includes creating viable living spaces close to accessible social, cultural, transit, and recreational services. Reside additionally supports inclusive communities by providing disadvantaged individuals with the resources they need to be successful participants in society, such as affordable housing.  Reside also supports efforts at every level to improve the ability and opportunity of those disadvantaged on the basis of their identity, so that they may actively and satisfactorily participate in their community.   

 

Goal 4: Economic Sustainability 

 

The Strategy is concerned about propping up the overall economic health of communities. To achieve this goal, policies must incorporate aspects of both environmental and social sustainability. This means carrying out projects that include green building features that pass energy savings along to owners and occupants, create measures to reduce capital and operating costs, and utilize existing infrastructure around transit and commercial hubs. Reside wholly supports and follows these objectives, and even incorporates innovative financial models for viable affordable housing to further support the economic health of both communities and individuals.   

 

If you would like to learn more about Canada’s National Housing Strategy please visit this site https://www.placetocallhome.ca/  

CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC) 

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a Canadian Crown Corporation. In other words, the CMHC is an enterprise owned by the Government of Canada. Its mission is to make housing affordable to everyone in Canada. In recognizing that affordable housing is an ambitious goal, the CMHC’s efforts are directed towards mobilizing the expertise of many different groups, such as governments, non-profits, lenders, developers, social developers, and so on.   

 

There are several ways that the CMHC helps to make housing affordable: 

  1. Canada’s National Housing Strategy 

  2. Funds to create or improve rental units 

  3. Mortgage loan insurance for buyers 

  4. Data and research to offer insights on housing trends in Canada 

  5. Develop First Nation housing 

  6. Housing resources for newcomers  

 

The CMHC’s funds dedicated to creating and improving rental units is an excellent resource to implement the Reside model. Raising the Roof’s Reside model has successfully secured support and funds through the Demonstrations Initiative funding stream in the past. This funding stream is granted to organizations with innovative solutions that aim to improve the performance, viability and effectiveness of affordable housing.  

 

As one of nine recipients of this grant, the Reside model was recognized on the CMHC’s website, which can be found here. 

 

Sources:  

 

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2019 from https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en  

 

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (2018, May 31). What does CMHC do? Retrieved June 26, 2019 from https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/about-cmhc/cmhcs-story  

Government of Canada (2017). Canada’s National Housing Strategy: A Place to Call Home. Retrieved from https://www.placetocallhome.ca/pdfs/Canada-National-Housing-Strategy.pdf 

This toolkit is an initiative

of Raising the Roof.

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Content by Jenny Lam, Claire Ronan. 

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