Liberals set up housing council as 7 provinces sign up for rent assistance program

Liberals set up housing council as 7 provinces sign up for rent assistance program

Seven provinces have signed on to a federal rent assistance program created as part of the national housing strategy, newly released documents show.

So far, the Liberals have only announced deals with four provinces to deliver the Canada Housing Benefit to vulnerable renters, such as low-income families, Indigenous people, veterans and newcomers.

Money is already flowing to Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and British Columbia but documents tabled in the House of Commons last week show three more unnamed provinces have signed up for cash.

Read more: Coronavirus: Commercial eviction ban ends, lease terminations begin in Toronto

The jointly funded federal-provincial housing benefit is tied to an individual, rather than a subsidized unit that someone could lose when they move to a different dwelling.

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The government says the dollar amounts and the names of the three added provinces will eventually be revealed in official announcements that have been delayed because of the pandemic.

Sunday is National Housing Day. It also marks three years since the Liberals unveiled the decade-long housing strategy.

The Liberals have added more programs to the strategy over time, including a $1-billion, short-term initiative to help cities and housing providers buy properties and turn them quickly into affordable housing units.

Municipalities have said they plan to spend the money quickly to force the case for the government to top up the fund.

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Similarly, Indigenous housing providers are pushing for the government to finally unveil a plan for First Nations, Metis and Inuit living in urban areas.…

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