As COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help all Canadians, including rural Canadians, no matter where they live.

Regardless of where you live, access to affordable and attainable housing is important. While rural Canadians are more likely to own their own home (78 percent rural ownership compared to 68 percent nationally), there remains a housing access and affordability challenge in rural Canada.

There is often limited rental housing in rural areas, which restricts housing options for seasonal workers and newcomers. Twenty-four percent of rural Canadians, twice the national average, are not able to find the quality, affordable rental housing that they need, which underlines the need for significant improvement.

Rural housing markets also tend to be less dynamic than urban ones, with fewer incentives for developers, leaving them more vulnerable to economic instability.

National Housing Strategy

The Government of Canada has launched a first-ever National Housing Strategy, which is a $55-billion plan to improve housing affordability for Canadians. The National Housing Strategy aims to reduce or eliminate housing needs for at least 530,000 households, create 125,000 new affordable housing units, repair and renew more than 300,000 affordable units, reduceby 50 percent the number of chronically homeless shelter users, and ultimately change the face of housing in Canada.

The focus of the National Housing Strategy is to address the housing security needs of Canadians, including rural Canadians, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable populations such as seniors, Indigenous Peoples, or women and children fleeing domestic violence.

Visit National Housing Strategy for more information on the program and its progress.

National Housing Co-Investment Fund

The flagship initiative delivered by CMHC, the National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) provides low-cost loans and contributions to help build and renew affordable housing that meets the needs of Canadians. The NHCF addresses the smaller communities by offering flexibility to address the unique challenges faced by rural housing providers andcovers a broad range of housing needs, from shelters to affordable homeownership. It prioritizes projects that support partnerships between governments, non-profits, private sector, and others to make federal investments go further.

Visit National Housing Co-Investment Fund for more information on the program and its progress.

Rental Construction Financing Initiative

The Rental Construction Financing Initiative, provides low-cost loans to encourage the construction of rental housing across Canada and the First Time Home Buyer Incentive helps first-time home buyers no matter where they live.

Visit Rental Construction Financing Initiative for more information on the program and its progress.

Housing Supply Challenge

An innovative housing initiative also accessible to rural communities is the $300-million Housing Supply Challenge. This initiative will seek innovative ideas that will break down barriers to creating or renewing housing – ones that could address housing concerns raised by rural Canadians. The Housing Supply Challenge will invite municipalities and other stakeholder groups across Canada to propose new approaches to meet local needs, and provide the resources to develop new solutions to enhance housing supply and provide a platform to share these models with communities across Canada.

Visit Housing Supply Challenge for more information on the program and its progress.