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As federal money for pre-1994 housing projects is set to expire, many wondering how thousands of units will be maintained

October 30th, 2012 · 64 Comments

This country saw a lot of good, cheap, affordable housing built in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. Much of it was due to two things: federal dollars directly into social housing and federal tax laws that encouraged people to invest in private-market apartment buildings.

Many of the region’s minimum-wage or low-income households are holding themselves together in those three- and four-storey apartment buildings and social-housing projects all over the region.

The tax incentives got killed, so rental stopped. In 1994, the federal government ended its support for social housing, so it was left up to the few provinces willing (largely Quebec and B.C.) to keep building some.

But there was still money going into the old social-housing projects, through 30- and 40-year agreements signed when those projects were built a few decades ago. That money is still flowing, for the most part, but it’s due to start ending, as various agreements come to the end of their terms.

My story here looks at what people are fearing the consequences might be and what they’d like to see as a solution — no, not more money. Just the same amount that’s been going in all these years.


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