Canada Rental Protection Fund Paves the Way to Housing Stability

  4 April 2024

B.C.’s community housing sector celebrates Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pre-budget announcement of the $1.5-billion Canada Rental Protection Fund. The $1 billion in loans and $470 million in contributions signifies a strong commitment to housing stability, preserving affordable homes, and tackling speculation in the housing market.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces a housing initiative as part of his series of pre-budget announcements across the country. The prime minister is joined in Winnipeg by federal ministers Sean Fraser (housing) and Dan Vandal (Prairies Economic Development Canada), as well as Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew and Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham.

Addressing the Housing Crisis

Urgent action is necessary because there’s a loss of four existing affordable homes for every new unit built in Canada. Moreover, recent research indicates that investing in community housing supply is non-inflationary and can boost Canada’s productivity gap by 5.7% to 9.3%.

Based on Successful B.C. Model

BC Rental Protection Fund logomark.

B.C.’s Housing Central partners—the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA), BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), and the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC)—take pride in pioneering the Rental Protection Fund.

The expansion of this successful model nationwide underscores the federal government’s acknowledgment of the urgency to protect existing affordable rental and co-op homes across the country.

Since its launch in 2023, B.C.’s Rental Protection Fund has made significant capital contributions to preserve affordable homes in our province. Over 900 homes—including 290 co-op homes in Coquitlam—have benefited from this fund, ensuring that residents’ housing costs remain affordable.

Sector Reactions

Partnering for Progress

Jill Atkey, CEO of BCNPHA, emphasizes the importance of collaboration to ensure a smooth flow of funds through BC’s Rental Protection Fund.

“This announcement couldn’t come at a more critical time. The erosion of affordability in the rental market continues to affect hundreds of thousands of renters right across the country.

We look forward to working with our federal partners to ensure a seamless flow of funds through BC’s Rental Protection Fund so that non-profits can access provincial and federal dollars seamlessly.”

Prioritizing Vulnerable Communities

Margaret Pfoh, CEO of AHMA, stresses the need for resources to address inequities and prioritize Indigenous housing strategies.

“We are encouraged to see the federal government taking an active role in preserving affordable community housing by empowering non-profit providers to acquire and protect rental properties. We quickly learned from the BC Acquisition Fund that it’s hard to acquire buildings with a majority of Indigenous tenants, if any.

So as a next step, we hope to see resources allocated to implement AHMA’s Indigenous housing strategy. This will help reduce vast inequities by specifically prioritizing those most vulnerable to housing precarity.”

A Promising Future

Thom Armstrong, CEO of CHF BC, expresses optimism about the future, anticipating enhanced affordability and security for tenants and opportunities for non-profit housing co-ops.

“This is welcome and timely news. We are so pleased to see the federal government adopting an approach that’s already working in British Columbia through B.C.’s Rental Protection Fund. We can’t wait to add federal dollars to B.C.’s already historic investment.

Many more tenants will now enjoy the comfort of living in a safe, secure, permanently affordable home. Some will even be given the opportunity to convert their buildings to non-profit housing co-ops. It’s a good day for the community housing sector in BC and across the country.”

Co-ops Ready to Do Our Part

Tim Ross, Executive Director of CHF Canada, notes that housing co-ops across Canada applaud today’s announcement.

“Canada’s housing co-ops are ready and able to do their part to address the housing crisis by protecting renters through the provision of secure, affordable co-op homes in strong communities.

This Fund is an important step in growing the non-market community housing sector. It will help make life more affordable for households, as well as boost productivity.”


Continued Collaboration

The Federal Rental Protection Fund marks a significant step forward in ensuring safe, affordable, and sustainable housing for all Canadians. Collaboration with all levels of government and the community housing sector remains crucial to effectively addressing the housing crisis. Together, we can build a brighter future for our communities.

Links and Media Coverage

Protecting and expanding affordable housing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Government of Canada Press Release, April 4, 2024.

B.C.’s Community Housing Sector Applauds New Federal Rental Protection Fund

BC Non-Profit Housing Association Media Release (on behalf of Housing Central), April 4, 2024

Canadian housing co-ops welcome the Canada Rental Protection Fund

CHF Canada Media Release, April 4, 2024.

Federal government to launch $1.5B fund to protect affordable rentals
New Canada Rental Protection Fund to be included in upcoming budget

Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press via CBC News, Apr 04, 2024

Budget to include $1.5B rental protection fund meant to preserve rent prices
The federal government will be launching a $1.5-billion “Canada Rental Protection Fund” to preserve affordable rent prices across the country.

Rachel Aiello, CTV News, April 4, 2024

A $1.5 billion “Canada Rental Protection Fund” is coming later this year: Justin Trudeau
Fund will help make “thousands of new affordable apartments” and protect affordable housing.

Imaan Sheikh. Daily Hive, April 4, 2024.