Social Housing in Canada has its origins in 1946 when
the Federal Government was challenged to house returning soldiers from
World War II and their families. The response was a plan to build and
maintain affordable housing for veterans, administered by the Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a Federal agency which
continues to this day.
During the 1950s and 1960s, CMHC's mandate was
broadened to provide affordable housing for low-income families. This
was the era of 'Public
Housing'-housing owned and operated by the government.
During the 1970s the approach to social housing was revamped, which
resulted in two new streams of social housing: Co-op
Housing which is owned and operated by residents, and Non-Profit
Housing which provides housing owned by not-for-profit groups in the
local community. While still funded by CMHC, the governance was placed
in the community for built-in responsiveness. There was also an emphasis
on mixed-income housing—which combined low-income and
moderate-income households to foster a healthy social environment.
Between 1985-1989 the Ontario government was directly
involved in social housing and funded the building of non-profits and
co-ops through the then-Ministry of Housing. The majority of non-profit
housing in Ontario was built during this period. By 1993 however, the
Federal Government had largely stopped participating in the construction
of new social housing, and the Provincial Government followed suit by
Services Act, 2011 came into force on January 1, 2012.
This Act replaces the Social Housing Reform
Act (SHRA) and provides a new legislative framework for the
delivery of housing programs in Ontario. The (HSA) affords Service
Managers increased flexibility to make local rules and guidelines.