Why Canada Needs A National Housing Benefit

interior view of front entrance to Canadian parliament buildings, with Canadian flag
Entrance to the Centre Block of Canada's houses of parliament.

In the days leading up to the 2023-24 Federal Budget, here’s an article in the Ottawa Citizen. It promotes a proposed Canadian Housing Benefit to help people with very low incomes pay for housing.

The article is written by Tim Aubry and Geoffrey Nelson, who have detailed knowledge of who is homeless and who is struggling to stay housed. Their reasoning builds on evidence that three broad strategies are necessary to prevent homelessness:

  • individual supports
  • targetted interventions
  • structural changes1

The Canadian Housing Benefit would support individuals and families. It is a targetted intervention, aimed specifically to prevent people fleeing domestic violence, children aging out of care, individuals leaving prisons and hospitals as well as people facing imminent eviction from becoming homeless. It also mends a structural failure in the social safety net: raising chronically low levels of social assistance, which prevent people from leaving homelessness.

Aubrey and Nelson also set the Canadian Housing Benefit in an international context. Read more in the Ottawa Citizen: A targeted rent subsidy would help prevent and end homelessness in Canada

For more about the Canadian Housing Benefit, which has been developed by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, try: Why 2023 Is An Important Year to Strengthen Homelessness Services


  1. You can read more about these strategies at the Homeless Hub: Supporting Communities To Prevent And End Homelessness