Journal article

Financing Social Housing in Canada

Van Dyk N ...see all

Housing Policy Debate, vol. 6, issue 4 (1995) pp. 815-848

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This article examines the mechanisms used since the 1970s to finance
social housing in Canada. It reveals that direct government assistance
has proven to be the most cost‐effective mechanism. Experimentation
with alternative mortgage instruments such as the graduated‐payment
mortgage and the index‐linked mortgage has also been central to the
attempt to minimize subsidy and financing costs. The article concludes
that the possibility of further enhancements in social housing finance
is limited at best. The problem remains the gap between the cost
of developing new social housing and the revenues generated from
rents. Various partnership approaches have been tried, but none has
been successful in providing housing at low rent levels. Some potential
does exist, however, to refinance older social housing developments
and draw equity out of them. This may be the only source of new funding
available because federal assistance to new social housing developments
has been frozen.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Canada
  • Financing
  • Low-income housing
  • Nonprofit sector

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  • Nick Van Dyk

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