The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and compounded Canada’s housing crisis. And for people with no stable home of their own, staying safe and healthy is harder than ever.

To help vulnerable Canadians stay safely distant, municipalities have leased motels and repurposed arenas as temporary shelters. But we urgently need fuller, more cost-effective housing solutions—before winter, flu season and a possible second wave of COVID-19.

Today’s markets create an opportunity to respond, with buildings coming up for sale at depressed prices. FCM is proposing a federal initiative and partnership to help community housing providers acquire, repair and retrofit available buildings for non-profit housing

With the right financial tools, buildings like motels/hotels can be converted to permanent supportive housing for vulnerable Canadians, including those living with mental illness and substance use disorder. Community providers can also acquire and retrofit existing moderate-rent residential buildings—instead of waiting for private buyers to step in and potentially push tenants’ rents higher.

See more of FCM’s COVID-19 recommendations at https://covid.fcm.ca/recommendations

© 2020 Federation of Canadian Municipalities