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Canada is experiencing many of the same housing woes as the US. In order to remedy the country's affordability crisis, many leaders have aligned to create a $40 billion fund with the goal of driving innovation for more affordable housing nationwide.

Innovation is a hallmark of Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy (NHS), which is investing $40 billion over 10 years, with new ideas and concepts being put forth to create more affordable rental and social housing.

“Within the $40 billion funding are a number of different programs and innovation programs for new housing,” said Dany Skelling, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) affordable housing specialist, who is also a presenter at the Nov. 7 and 8 Buildex event in Calgary.

His presentation is entitled Innovations in Affordable Housing – Part of Canada’s National Housing Strategy.

The initiatives, according to Skelling, can focus on innovations that lower operating costs such as new heating systems or result in more efficient construction methods such as prefabrication or reusing materials such as shipping containers.

The NHS will create 100,000 new housing units, renew 300,000 housing units, reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent and provide the housing needed for approximately half-a-million families.

While some of the program will be within the provincial government, the CMHC will lead and deliver the remainder of the NHS. It will either work with other federal departments or agencies to deliver the programs or contract through third parties.

Skelling said his session will provide the opportunity for anyone in construction with questions regarding the program to gain more insight into the overall strategy but also provide information on the various initiatives and how those in construction might apply for funding.

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