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Apr 17th, 2024


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Wednesday, April 17, 2024 (OTTAWA, ON) – Following the Minister of Finance’s tabling of the 2024 Budget on April 16th, 2024, Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) has issued the following statement:  

Ottawa Community Housing thanks the Government of Canada and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Finance, for tabling its 2024 Budget. Following the series of encouraging pre-budget housing announcements, it is welcomed news to see investments committed to non-market/non-profit affordable housing.  

In addition to the Federal Housing Accelerator Fund, from which the City of Ottawa received an allocation of $176.3 million, this Federal Budget launches a new Canada Housing Plan and recognizes that continued investment in affordable housing is critical to helping solve the housing crisis. By investing in non-profit housing, the Federal Government is helping to ensure everyone has a place to call home.  

The 2024 Federal Budget included several affordable housing related measures:  

  • $1.5 billon Canada Rental Protection Fund for non-profit organizations and other partners to acquire units and preserve rent prices in the long term.   
    OCH recently completed its largest acquisition of rental housing from the private sector, and this is an important step to help organizations like OCH protect existing affordable housing.  
  • A $1 billion top-up to the Affordable Housing Fund to enable the now $15 billion program to support more deeply affordable housing, supportive housing, and shelters for the most vulnerable, and launch a permanent Rapid Housing Stream.   
    OCH has over 900 affordable homes under design or in construction, and this commitment could help the non-profit housing sector build more needed homes.  
  • $6 billion Canada Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction and upgrading of critical housing infrastructure.   
    This can help reduce the cost of homebuilding for all builders, including OCH and other non-profit housing providers.  
  • Intention to introduce flexibilities to the Federal Community Housing Initiative to ensure that eligible housing providers can access funding to maintain housing affordability for low-income tenants and co-op members.  
    OCH has benefited from this initiative to support maintaining our portfolio of ~15,000 homes.  
  • Public Lands for Homes Plan: In addition to partnering with homebuilders, not-for-profits, and co-ops on federal sites, the federal government will partner with provinces, territories, and municipalities to unlock more public lands to build more homes. Budget 2024 noted it will top up the Federal Lands Initiative (FLI) to unlock more federal lands for affordable housing providers. 
    The FLI is an existing fund that supports the transfer of surplus federal lands and buildings to be used as affordable housing. OCH’s newest development of 271 affordable homes at 715 Mikinàk Road has received support from the FLI. 
  • $150 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Health Canada for an Emergency Treatment Fund, open to municipalities and Indigenous communities to help provide rapid responses to emergent, critical needs related to the opioid crisis  
    Social housing providers like OCH are facing the challenge of housing tenants dealing with chronic homelessness and complex mental health, substance use, and various health issues. OCH manages more than 70% of social housing in Ottawa and houses the highest concentration of higher-needs tenants from the Ottawa Registry. OCH has a Complex Care Housing Strategy as an innovative response to this multi-faceted issue that recognizes housing is determinant of health.  

These initiatives not only protect existing affordable housing but also pave the way for long-term, sustainable solutions for families and individuals in need.   

As a member of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA), the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) and the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa (ATEHO), OCH is proud to work with all orders of government alongside public and private sector partners to strengthen existing partnerships towards our common goal of building and preserving more affordable rental housing in Ottawa.  

While many of these new measures are positive, OCH will be awaiting further details to properly assess their impact. As the largest provider of social and affordable housing in Ottawa, OCH will continue to highlight the need for collaboration with the non-profit housing sector and for funds to flow to municipalities and housing providers in Ontario as soon as possible. 


“Putting people first, Ottawa Community Housing works hard every day to make a difference. We have a commitment to build and preserve affordable housing and ensure vulnerable tenants receive supports they need. The 2024 Federal Budget shows incremental steps in supporting the non-profit housing sector and this is welcomed news as OCH continues the construction of over 900 homes, looks to begin construction on many more, seeks opportunities to protect affordable housing through acquisition and works with partners to develop a more supportive community housing system.”
Stéphane Giguère, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing

“Housing affordability remains a top concern for many people in Ottawa. The City of Ottawa’s Social Housing Registry has over 12,000 people on its waitlist, and we appreciate the Federal government’s commitment geared towards protecting and delivering more affordable homes, especially for the most vulnerable. OCH has benefitted from the various funding programs under the National Housing Strategy, and the 2024 Federal Budget includes a number of measures that could support their ambitious efforts to help our city meet its affordable housing targets.”
Councillor Theresa Kavanagh, Chair of the OCH Board of Directors   

About Ottawa Community Housing:  

Ottawa Community Housing offers approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 tenants, including seniors, families, individuals, and people with disabilities. These homes are located in various communities throughout the City of Ottawa and house a diverse population with different languages, cultures, and ethnicities. OCH is Ottawa’s primary community housing provider, managing two-thirds of the city’s housing portfolio and ranking as the second largest in Ontario. In 2023, OCH earned recognition for the sixth consecutive year as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers. | X | LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram  

Media Contact: 

Esther Njuguna 
Media Relations Specialist