Last week in Ottawa the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)hosted a meeting of the caucus of Big City Mayors to discuss municipal concerns about federal funding for infrastructure and social housing. Of particular note is the efforts of FCM and other advocates to put pressure on the federal government about the impact that the end of agreements and related subsidies will have. There is a concern that without renewal of ending federal subsidy non-profit and co-operative units will no longer be able to provide homes at low rents to households in need, and such households may become homeless. This may be a concern in a few cases, but in the main, most social housing is under the guardianship of provinces and territories (and due to the download, municipalities in Ontario). The more serious issue is that the end of federal subsidy leaves the provinces and territories alone to manage what will be rising operating costs as well as a need for significant reinvestment to update and modernize buildings, many of which are now 40-50 years old.

Moreover as PTs take on a larger burden of costs, the federal government is on the verge of declaring a budgetary surplus. The evolving situation in social housing is another case if an imbalance between the federal and PT levels of government (and in Ontario also impacts the municipalities, funding social housing subsidy from the property tax base.

This issue was highlighted in todays Globe and Mail: With Ottawa spending less on social housing, provinces will be forced to foot the bill

and reflects the data contained in the attached brief The fiscal impact of expiring federal subsidies