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Breaking Down the 2024 Federal Budget: A Social Service Agency's Guide to Housing and Social Service Allocations

On April 16th, Chrystia Freeland, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, introduced 2024's Federal Budget—Fairness for Every Generation. The budget proposes $52.9 billion in new spending over five years and a $40 billion deficit this fiscal year.

 

At Sonderbloom, a social services consulting firm, we have curated a budget breakdown tailored specifically for social services agencies. Below is a list of funding allocations from the Federal 2024 budget that may be relevant to your agency or the individuals you support. 


A view of Parliament Hill and the Parliamentary Library at sunset..

 


2024 Federal Budget Major Spending Highlights


Housing 

The 2024 Federal Budget unveils an ambitious plan to build nearly 3.9 million new homes by 2031. This plan aligns with the estimates outlined in the Parliamentary Budget Officer's Report, which projects Canada must build 3.1 million homes by 2030 to close the housing gap.

 

We outline some of the notable housing-related budget items below:

 

Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF)

The HAF partners with municipalities, provinces, and territories to expedite housing construction and aims to construct 750,000 new homes over the next decade. This budget adds $400 million to the HAF to accelerate 12,000 new home builds within the next three years.


Converting Public Lands into Homes

The budget promises $1.1 billion over ten years to transform fifty percent of the federal office portfolio (6 million square metres of office space) into housing. There are two notable strategies for this proposal:

  • Ensure that new homes remain affordable in perpetuity by maintaining public ownership of land and leasing it to builders instead of selling it to them.

  • The government also aims to build on Canada Post properties and National Defence lands, which account for 1,700-plus Canada Post offices and 622 properties.


Apartment Construction Loan Program

The budget added a $15 billion top-up to the Apartment Construction Loan Program, which provides low-cost construction financing to build rental homes. The $15 billion will help build 30,000 new homes across Canada and will be available to provinces and territories upon meeting certain conditions. This top-up brings the Apartment Construction Loan Program to over $55 billion, supporting 131,000 new homes by 2031-32.

  • $500 million will provide low-cost financing for new rental housing projects using innovative construction techniques, such as prefabricated and modular housing.



Two construction workers wearing yellow hard hats are working at a table. The one on the left is cutting, the one on the right is drilling. There is an unfinished home in the background.

Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund

The budget allocates $6 billion to the Canada Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the construction of critical housing infrastructure, which includes water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste infrastructure. This funding will be available to provinces, municipalities, and territories.

Capital Cost Allowance

The government is introducing a temporary accelerated capital cost allowance of 10% (up from the current 4%) for eligible new rental construction projects that begin construction on or after April 16th, 2024, with an occupancy date before January 1st, 2036. This allowance will allow homebuilders to deduct certain depreciation expenses over a shorter period of time, resulting in tax deductions—in addition to the existing GST exemption for rental builds.


Reaching Home Program

The government is topping up the Reaching Homes Program, a federal homelessness initiative, with an additional $1.3 billion over four years.

  • $1 billion of this funding is allocated to community organizations that reduce homelessness.

  • $250 million will address the "urgent issue" of encampments and a shortage of shelter space for homeless people— available to provinces and territories that can cost-match federal investments.

 

Indigenous Housing and Community Infrastructure

The 2024 Federal Budget announces a combined distinctions-based investment of $918 million to accelerate work that will narrow housing and infrastructure gaps in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities.

  

Sheltering Asylum Claimants

The budget includes $1.1 billion over three years to extend a housing assistance program for asylum claimants.

 

The Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program

Starting in 2025-26, the government is launching a Canada Greener Homes Affordability Program that will support the direct installation of energy efficiency retrofits for Canadian households with low to median incomes. The $800 million allocated to this fund will be distributed to provincial and territorial partners.



Social Service Allocations


The 2024 Federal Budget focused heavily on housing but also announced several measures to support other social services. These initiatives aim to enhance community well-being as part of broader efforts to foster a more equitable and inclusive society.


A teacher is at a circular table with two children helping them work on drawings.


We outline some of the notable social services-related budget items below:


Indigenous Communities

The 2024 Federal Budget focused heavily on housing but also announced several measures to support other social services. These initiatives aim to enhance community well-being as part of broader efforts to foster a more equitable and inclusive society.

Mental Health Services

$630 million will go towards access to mental health services for Indigenous Peoples.

Social Services for Inuit Children
Funding for Friendship Centres
Income Support
Pre-employment Supports
Income Support for Indigenous persons with disabilities
Food Security


Disability Support

Canada Disability Benefit

Budget 2024 proposed $6.1 billion over six years for a new Canada Disability Benefit program with payments to individuals starting in July 2025. This will amount to $200 per month for low-income individuals with disabilities between 18 and 64 years old.


Health Care

Pharmacare

Over five years, $1.5 billion will be allocated to launch the new national universal Pharmacare plan. The first phase, as pre-announced, will help cover diabetes and contraception medications starting this fiscal year

Youth Mental Health Fund

Child Care

Child Care Expansion Program

The Child Care Expansion Loan Program will offer $1 billion in low-cost loans and $60 million in non-repayable contributions to public and not-for-profit childcare providers to build more childcare spaces and renovate their existing childcare centres.

Loan Forgiveness for Early Childhood Educators

 

Sonderbloom is a social services and community healthcare consulting firm that works closely with our community partners to help vulnerable individuals live full, meaningful lives.

To explore how we can support your organization in maximizing the benefits of the 2024 budget, please visit our website to learn more about our services: https://www.sonderbloom.com/#our-services

 

The 2024 Federal Budget aims to address various social and economic challenges. Effective execution of this strategy will require collaboration among federal, provincial, and municipal authorities, as well as the contributions of social service agencies. 

 

To stay informed about the funding opportunities outlined in this budget, stay tuned for future blog posts where we'll explore how you or your organization can benefit from these opportunities. In the meantime, you can read our summary of the 2024 Ontario Budget in our post: Unveiling Ontario's Vision: Exploring the Ontario 2024 Budget's Allocation Strategies


 


 

 





 

 

 


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